Australian digital healthcare capital fund launches
Sydney-based venture capital firm Healthcare Ventures has announced it’s set to invest in emerging companies that are transforming healthcare via digital healthcare technologies.
Their investment will focus on early stage and growth companies that are based in Australia but have a global outlook, with the aim of redefining how healthcare is provided to deliver better patient outcomes.
Dr Louise Schaper, CEO of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health and member of Healthcare Ventures’ Partnership and Fund Manager Board, explained that the growth in digital healthcare around the world presented a great opportunity. “The digitally enabled transformation of healthcare across the globe is happening at a phenomenal pace, accelerated by COVID-19 and the resulting focus on data and technologies for advanced individual and population health” she said.
“We see this as providing significant opportunity for a specialist fund and specialist team focussed on digital health investment. In 2020, digital health startups in the USA attracted a record US$14 billion of investment capital, in the largest funding year on record. Australia is rich with brilliant innovators and yet funding is only starting to see traction. Healthcare Ventures aims to rectify that.”
The firm will have a particular focus on innovation in artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, large scale data, advanced diagnostics, health IOT and telehealth. Healthcare Ventures’ board includes experts and entrepreneurs involved in renowned companies such Australian Medical Angels, Doctor Care Anywhere and Telstra Readycare.
Announcing the launch of the fund, pioneer of Australia’s venture capital industry and Chairman of the Board Roger Allen said: “I have been working with and invested in a number of talented health professionals and am seeing continuous deal-flow of innovations coming from the medical community. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise given our best and brightest have been going into medicine but what has changed is a strong entrepreneurship mindset and the ability to transform practises through digitisation.
“I believe the best way to handle this deal-flow is to have a dedicated team and specialist fund led by health professionals supported by strong investment and technical capabilities. The fund will be a relatively small fund and will seek to partner and co-invest with many more generalised VC funds both in Australia and overseas.
The first round of funding is expected to close in the first half of 2021.
Slovenia launches EU COVID pass built on Better Platform
Slovenia has launched its EU Digital COVID Certificate, also known as the Digital Green Certificate, which was developed in only three weeks and built on top of a national clinical data repository (CDR) powered by the Better Platform.
The service generates a certificate based on the data available in Slovenia’s national CDR. The COVID certificate uses integrated care record data such as demographic data, vaccination and test result data that is already available. The data is made available through previously established services by the national COVID-19 screening data management solution and the national eVaccination registry – so there is no need for additional data to be generated solely for certificate purposes.
This rapid development of EU Digital Covid Certificate was made possible by an open-platform approach. It has also been created so that it can used by different systems, providing a vendor-neutral exchange of documents, and is available on-demand in digital or PDF form, with QR codes.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed national health systems to quickly develop new digital solutions for including to manage epidemiological data, and organise COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is the latest example of a solution that was developed at this new fast pace to allow citizens to travel safely this summer.
The Slovenian healthcare system already had a national eHealth infrastructure, enabling data to be shared via an integrated care record that makes data available for any digital service instantly, at scale and volume.
Currently, Slovenia's healthcare system includes:
* more than 150 million health records for 2.1 million unique individuals (98% of the population)
* more than 86% (135 million) of records in the form of structured data that uses openEHR models
* more than 4 million records of COVID-19 test results
* unstructured data that includes discharge summaries, clinical notes, opt-in statements, consent documents and other clinical data
* data which is sent to the national system by more than 1,250 registered healthcare providers in Slovenia
Initially, the digital health platform enabled the Slovenian Ministry of Health to respond rapidly and deploy a COVID-19 screening data management solution on a county-wide level in just 14 days. With vaccination data available through the national eVaccination registry, there was no need for additional data to be generated solely to create the COVID certificate.
“We are happy that we already had the suitable IT infrastructure in place in Slovenia" said Minister of Health Janez Poklukar. "It allowed us to respond quickly and provide the necessary digital solutions that support the efforts of medical and epidemiological teams to manage the pandemic, as well as to allow our citizens to travel freely.”