Building a healthier Australia
Springday is part of a consortium which has just won a very significant research grant. The grant, announced on 13 April, consists of $55 million from the Australian government, matched by $55 million from industry to research and develop digital solutions for health and wellbeing in Australia.
That’s $110 million dollars over the next seven years.
Exciting, eh? Let me count the ways.
It’s exciting because Springday is part of a program to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across Australia, and to advance the Australian economy. It’s exciting because the need for digital health has never been stronger. Most of all, it’s exciting because of Australia’s willingness to take on this cutting-edge project.
About the project
The consortium that won the grant is called the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and it brings together a group of partners spanning the wellness landscape. They include public and private health service providers, policy and funding bodies, insurers, aged care providers, medical product companies, universities and tech companies. Springday, as an early stage digital health company at the forefront of using digital technology for health and wellbeing, was invited to take part.
The Digital Health CRC will seek digital solutions to a range of health and wellbeing challenges, including developing models for acute hospital readmissions and member engagement; assessing the impact of early intervention and care management; identifying patterns in patients’ claim histories, and identifying markers for medical procedures.
Why we need a digital health project
We’ve never been better informed about health, nor had so many options for health improvement – and yet, as a nation, our health is declining.
- 2 in 3 of us are overweight or obese
- Every 12 minutes, one of us dies from cardiovascular disease
- Every 5 minutes, one of us develops diabetes
- 1 in 5 of us experiences a mental illness in any year of our lives
- 13.3% of us suffer from depression
- 35% of us report significant levels of stress
- only 24% of us are engaged at work.
 *Sources: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017; Australian Heart Foundation 2015; Diabetes Australia 2015; ABS 2007; National Mental Health Commission; Gallup 2012
Our health system is struggling. Costs are ballooning: over the next seven years, health, aged care and the NDIS will cost Australia $1.9 trillion. There is evidence of systemic waste in care, and chronic disease is on the rise. At the same time, both care providers and consumers suffer: the former from lack of transparency and the latter from lack of access.
We have to find a way of meeting these challenges and technology provides a solution. The growing digital market is helping us access technology in new ways and across a range of devices. New data points and linkages are coming on line and data science is making rapid advances. In other words, this project cements and expands what we at Springday already know, namely that when applied to wellbeing, digital technology can deliver startling improvements in people’s lives.
A great national project
Most exciting of all is the way the project unites people from a range of different areas to find common, linked solutions. We’re working together not only as a health system but also nationally, as a country.
As a rule, we Australians are a nation of knockers and most of all we like to knock ourselves, often with good reason. (Ball tampering, anyone?) But sometimes this country succeeds in a way that makes me shine with pride. Gun control, for example, or the Opera House, or the 2000 Olympics.
This project is one of those times. Australia is leading the world and if we get it right we can take our health and wellbeing solutions not only across the nation but also across the globe. So I am both excited and proud that Springday is part of the Digital Research CRC and am looking forward to helping build a healthier Australia.
I’m proud to announce that last week I was one of only 8 Australian startup founders who participated in the women-only Springboard Accelerator.
The Accelerator provides women-led companies access to a suite of relevant experts and resources to help them build scalable, sustainable business. It’s run by SBE Australia, a not-for-profit with the first female-only startup accelerator in Australia, and the program includes coaching, mentorship, and membership of a lifelong global alumnae network.
Selection is very rigorous so I was thrilled to be chosen and to attend a recent boot camp where I got to meet my fellow founders, all of whom run incredibly interesting and diverse companies. You can read about them here.
What else is going on
Six tips for better work-life balance: here are some tips for work-life balance, from a BBC Ideas video.
The dangers of perfectionism. Perfectionism is good, right? Not according to researchers, who say it can be dangerous to your health and can undermine your potential.
Link between sugar and Alzheimer’s: we know sugar is bad for us. What we didn’t know, and are just finding out, is that Alzheimer’s may be another potential side effect of a sugary, Western-style diet.
Why do some people become geniuses? Brain damage sometimes unlocks extraordinary creative talents. This article describes such cases, and asks what they can teach us about how geniuses are made.
Twenty words we wish hadn’t died out. Fudgel? Peg Puff? Perendinate? They’re explained here.