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Accelerating regional healthcare

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 researchtelehealthvideo
Accelerating regional healthcare Megan Gomez (right) will be the entrepreneur in residence at the Bendigo Health Accelerator (BHx), due to begin in May 2020.
The Bendigo Health Accelerator (BHx) will enable a select few medical start-ups to test their ideas and products in a hospital setting at Bendigo Health.

Surrounded by grief, isolation and hardship, Megan Gomez felt she needed to help.

The then-journalist had been working in remote Queensland, experiencing the impact of natural disasters and arid conditions on regional mental health.

“It seemed like every other week I was talking to someone who was struggling but had been unable to access professional help,” she said.

Megan (pictured above right) had an idea of creating a secure online video conferencing platform that linked people to psychologists from their own home.

That idea became a reality in September when Rural Health Connect was officially launched.

Megan credits the Melbourne Health Accelerator (MHx) with helping develop and test the program to ensure it was market ready.

The MHx gave healthcare-related start-ups access to clinicians in a hospital setting to refine, test and re-evaluate ideas.

“It gave me a really clear direction of what I needed to do, sometimes when you’re working on an idea on your own you can get a bit lost and don’t know how or where to focus your time,” she said.

Megan will be the entrepreneur in residence, a mentor in effect, for the Bendigo Health Accelerator (BHx) Program, due to begin in May 2020.

She urged anyone with an idea, regardless of how advanced it was, to consider the program.

“It’s a considerable time commitment but it will give you an understanding of whether your idea will work. You don’t know unless you try,” she said.

Funded by Launch Vic, BHx is a 13-week program based at Bendigo Hospital.

Participants will have access to 18 research fellows that connect the businesses to relevant clinicians to workshop ideas and improvements for their products.

“This program is particularly exciting as it will bring all the brightest minds together to find solutions to regional health problems,” Bendigo Health Director of Research and Innovation Dr Angela Crombie said.

Dr Crombie said the program would also provide a boost to the local economy and could have long-term benefits for employment in the region.

Expressions of Interest in the program are now open and can be viewed here.

For more information, visit the BHx section of our website.