Diabetes WA are delighted to announce today we have been shortlisted for the Google.org Impact Challenge, a national search for the next generation of Australians whose innovative ideas for change are making an impact by using technology to tackle our biggest social challenges.
The Diabetes WA project aims to combat diabetes in remote Aboriginal communities through telehealth technology and community engagement. The vast geography of Australia makes it extremely difficult to reach remote patients face to face, but Diabetes WA is leading the way with Australia’s first and only allied health led diabetes telehealth service. Over a million kilometres of patient travel have been saved due to Diabetes Telehealth in its first 3 years.
However, barriers exist for Aboriginal people to fully engage with this type of solution, so Diabetes WA seeks to explore this and build upon our existing relationships with local Aboriginal Medical Services by respectfully listening to Communities and working with them to embrace technology as an integral part of the solution.
Diabetes WA is one of ten finalists who will share in $5.5 million, with grants of up to $1 million available to four winners, and runners-up receiving $250,000.
The Google.org Impact Challenge was created to identify projects that stood out for their ideas to use technology to make a big impact, improving lives in a new and creative way.
Learnings from this project could then be applied to other telehealth services across Australia to reduce inequity with technological solutions for rural and remote Aboriginal Communities.
Voting is now open to the public, between 9 October through 30 October 2018, to vote for their favourite idea to decide the People’s Choice Winner. On 1 November a panel of judges will select a further three winners.
“Diabetes WA would engage with a network of WA Aboriginal Medical Services and other country health providers by visiting and providing support, to allow those providers to become more engaged with upskilling in diabetes management via technology and our existing Telehealth service.
Aboriginal people are three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, almost seven times more likely to die from diabetes and 38 times more likely to have lower limb amputations due to diabetes complications than non-Aboriginal people, so we’d like to expand our reach to enable an effective solution for Communities living with high rates of diabetes,” explains Diabetes WA General Manager – Health Services & Evaluation Deb Schofield.
“We’re delighted to be shortlisted for this grant as it would have such a positive impact on our ability to reach and help so many people in regional WA living with diabetes.”
Find out more here and vote for Diabetes WA.