The Hon. Martin Hamilton-Smith, Minister for Investment and Trade, who also has an important role to play in advancing South Australia’s international efforts to attract investment in the health industries.
Of course Ray Blight, Chief Executive of Alcidion and its my great pleasure to be here, really at the birth of this organization, at least on the National Stock Exchange in a nice venue fit for this purpose.
Prof. Malcolm Pradhan, the company’s Chief Medical Officer and Co-founder. Mr. Nathan Buzza, Executive Director and other Alcidion staff, welcome here and it must be a very exciting day for you as you embark upon this new adventure.
Representatives of the local ICT University research, health science, business and investment communities, ladies and gentlemen.
I would also like to acknowledge that we gather today on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their country.
I’d also like to acknowledge that, as Nick has touched on, we do have two important parts of the State government’s apparatus represented here: The Office of the Participation Advocate and also the Health Industries SA that was set up.
Both of those organizations, are really very new organizations, but they are picking up we think an exciting opportunity for us to use the procurement that we had in the largest single area of expenditure in the State government to drive advanced manufacturing. Our analysis of advanced manufacturing is that the lead purchasers can be a critical element in the development of business especially in a small State like South Australia so it is proper that they are represented here, in the fact that we now see health industries rather than just a service and if you like a burden on the State treasury and therefore necessarily something that has to be funded through economic activity. We now have a broader understanding that Health Industries are a driver of economic activity, they create jobs and opportunities in the economy, which can create wealth and opportunity for the future prosperity of our citizens.
This is a relatively new field of endeavour for us to actually see health industries in this way. The truth is, we are catching up with something that has already been happening, but the role of government in actively promoting it, in much the same way as we might promote tourism or how we might promote international students, all these things are critically important.
And it’s also I think worth acknowledging that another important part of government represented here, which is the Chief Scientist, Leanna Read who brings together the focus of the State Government on what is a critically important area and endeavour. That is, the taking of knowledge and turning that into a close relationship with industry for our mutual benefit.
So, it’s great to be here to explore these very exciting opportunities for our State and in a very practical way to celebrate the next important step of this wonderful company.
We wish to congratulate the entire team at the Alcidion, for its imminent listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. It’s going to be the first South Australian firm working in the field of health informatics to be on the ASX and as I understand it, it shares in the company are scheduled to be available for trading at the end of the first week of a February.
A little bit of history about Alcidion, Ray Blight and Malcolm Pradhan formed Alcidion in 2000, its leading product called Miya platform is a creating a great deal of interest, It’s being used in hospitals across Australia and New Zealand, and there’s a possibility it will be trailed here in South Australia soon.
In simple terms, Miya is informatics software that brings together the enormous amount of data that clinicians are deluged with on a daily basis. The program is able to extract from that data, information on a particular patient. It collates it and presents it, in a way that helps the clinician understand the patient’s risk factors and then makes the best possible decisions about the person’s care and treatment.
This innovative technology was a key reason for Alcidion receiving the 2015 Impact Award, an annual program that Nick Begakis AO and other research and business leaders are involved in.
Given the use of medical data is likely to only rise, and doctors will see a higher proportion of complex patient cases, this kind of software is definitely a thing of the future. The increasing prevalence of chronic and lifestyle-related diseases mean hospitals need to use more sophisticated methods, and take greater advantage of big data analytics.
This presents major management challenges for hospital systems, including our own, but it also creates opportunities for Adelaide-based companies to develop products that meet those challenges.
Besides the Alcidion, there are other local firms doing valuable work in the areas of health informatics and big data. These include Medical Communication Associates, Personify, Core Medical Solutions, some of which are represented here this morning and I know that it is an ambition of yours Ray to establish a health informatics cluster in this State and that’s something that we’re very keen to explore with you.
The government including my Health Minister Jack Snelling, Minister of Health Industries is determined to foster a thriving health industry in this State.
Health care and social assistance is the fastest growing sector of our State’s economy with total employment increasing by more than 13% between 2012 and 2015 alone. The health sector is covered by one of our ten economic priorities. Priority no. 3 South Australia economic priorities a globally recognized leader in health research, ageing and related services and products.
In that growth that we’re talking about is not growth in hospitals. It’s largely contained in many of the other allied services that exists in and around the health industry.
Health Industries SA, which focuses on investment attraction, job creation is charged with supporting this sector in five specific areas including ICT applied health care.
We’ve made sound progress in recent times and in this year I believe will be an exciting year of positive change in the health industry. Last year, for example an X-ray product developer called Micro-X relocated from Victoria to the Tonsley innovation precinct down South. Hendrix is also setting up an office at Tonsley to develop X-ray products in the life sciences sector with Micro-X. And to do work on other medical devices and technologies.
Trajen Scientific and Medical establishes research facilities at the University of Adelaide for the manufacturer’s glass tubes for medical and diagnostic use. So, we know that these are important wins, and we’ve set ourselves an ambitious targets to hit by the time we get to the end of 2017.
The whole point of our 10 economic priorities was to articulate some of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and how we were going to reach the goals that we set ourselves, but invite the broader South Australian community to actually be out of that, so we have made the objectives which are stretch objectives and we’re inviting people to participate and assist us to get there together. They are not government programs, necessarily government can assist in some respects they are completely outside of the control of government, but together as a community, we can share in ambition to get that and achieve this together.
One of the objectives by the end of 2017 is to make the North Terrace Health precinct, the cornerstone of the State’s Health economy. It’s already looking fantastic, but increasingly becoming more exciting.
A goal to attract a hundred and fifty million dollars in foreign investment in life sciences. A goal to increase international medical equipment and devices exports and also to create a local telehealth industry.
In achieving these goals will generate jobs, develop expertise in products that we can export to the world it will also help make local challenges. Identified by the transforming health initiative such as dealing with the effects of a changing population our health needs and technologies.
Ultimately, we want to improve the quality of patient care and we know that high quality patient care, also is the most efficient and less costly.
Dealing with ballooning health cuts in a budgetary sense is something that I’ve been talking a lot of that lately. In fact, just five minutes ago who’s talking about this in to the national media. This is a massive issue, it’s not simply not going to be solved by quip one liners and people saying we should just getting control of our spending.
The truth is, we are doing an extraordinary amount of work, just to contain our healthcare costs within the already massively growing envelope that exists. It threatens to consume the whole of the State budget in every territory and State government’s budget by 2030. Unless, we have some important reforms, of course, in the efficiency side of things but also an acceptance that we need revenue to run these systems.
It needs to be understood that living longer and beating disease costs money, but it is a good thing it is what our citizens want, they do not regard this as the last incremental dollar that should be spent of their tax payers dollar, they believe that it should be the first call on the nation’s finances and that’s why, we are planning for and providing high-quality health system in a fast-moving and unpredictable world.
We understand it’s not easy, but we’re determined to ensure that we have the resources to do it. But given the brain power that exists in this State, the quality of the work that’s being done at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and the facilities that will soon be available at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.
I’m confident, that we can succeed. Alcidion has demonstrated that by focusing on practical problem-solving and better patient care, we can both create economic growth and improve people’s lives.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a sector of the South Australian economy, which we have assessed will grow faster than many other sectors of the South Australian economy.
We need to grow those fast growing sectors more quickly than the other sectors of the economy which are in retreat. That is how we are going to ensure that we transform the South Australian economy for jobs for citizens and also ensure that we have a something that we’ve always been famous for, the health and well-being does citizens and as well cared for.
It’s been an absolute pleasure to be here at this important milestone. This impressive local company about to embark on an exciting new phase of its development and I commend Alcidion for all that’s its achieved so far and I know that it’s only been achieved through the intelligence and hard work of the proponents and of course, all of the workers in that firm.