Victoria Brewster, MSW

Victoria Brewster, MSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Innovation Challenge in Healthcare

I love to see and read about innovative ideas and solutions to an existing problem. Healthcare is certainly one of them. Healthcare affects every person in the world and every country has its own healthcare system-whether or not the system is working is another matter. Healthcare is definitely an issue here in Canada. We have universal health coverage, socialized medicine or Medicare as it is called. There are many benefits to the system on a federal level, but then it is up to each province or territory to further interpret the rules and regulations and to offer additional coverage whether it be pharmacare, home care services, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, in home services by a physician, nurse, social worker, to offer groups, education and awareness. But there are flaws and issues with the current system.

Words alone cannot accurately describe the amazing opportunity of: Colour Outside the Lines: A Reverse Innovation Challenge for Canadian Health Systems. This is a challenge to inspire current and future leaders to become active  in shaping the transformation of our health care system. The challenge calls on students, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, IT specialists, patients and innovators from around the world to generate creative ideas and projects that can address some of Canada’s biggest health challenges.

The fact that this challenge is open to anyone from any country to participate opens the gates for innovative ideas. The U.S. is going through its own overhaul in healthcare with Obamacare currently-but there is always the possibility there are better ideas to choose from, as many do not like or agree with the Affordable Care Act.

The challenge invites those interested to submit a reverse innovation idea that can work as a health care innovation business model in Canada. International and cross-sectoral collaboration is at the heart of this reverse innovation challenge. Colour Outside the Lines encourages you to form a team of innovators from around the globe, and across industry and academic lines, to help strengthen your idea for reverse innovation. Innovation can come from anywhere; so can submissions for this challenge.

The first place prize will be a $50,000 award. Second and third prizes are $25,000 each. This one-time funding will be used to move the proposed innovation idea forward. Winning submissions will also receive additional support to advance the innovation to a pilot test phase in the Canadian health care system. In addition, all winners will have the opportunity to work with the network of health innovators in residence and council members of the Ivey International Centre for Heath Innovation for mentorship and coaching to support the implementation of their reverse innovation project.

Winners will be announced in September of this year and awarded their prizes on November 26, 2013, at the International Centre for Health Innovation’s Global Health Conference. Winners must be present at the Conference to accept their prizes in person and share their reverse innovation with Conference attendees. The Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation will cover the costs of travel and accommodation for winners attending the Conference.

I have a feeling that the 3 winning ideas will influence other countries as well. If the ideas are good and makes business sense, as well as sense from a humanistic standpoint, imagine the changes that could occur in healthcare.

Written by Victoria Brewster, MSW
SJS Staff Writer in Canada

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