Healthlink proves it is enterprising to be online

16 Sep 2010
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HealthLink, a finalist in UQ Business School's $100,000 Enterprize business planning competition, is Australia's first e-health service to harness the power of the internet to improve health outcomes for Australians. At the forefront of the e-health capability in Australia, HealthLink, and its successfully tried banner program Specialist Link, is a web based software service that works to alleviate the unmet needs of patients and help more than 34,000 health professionals including psychologists, physiotherapists and speech pathologists. According to Specialist Link Managing Director and former Young Australian of the Year Alison Hardacre, Specialist Link has the ability to save health practitioners on average $20,000 per annum through its innovative practice management services. "Specialist Link uses e-health technology to connect practitioners and patients with GPs, Medicare and other health providers. "While Specialist Link enables patients to find the right psychologist for them it also manages the administration of invoices and financial reporting for psychology practitioners allowing them to reduce their administration by one hour per day." Alison, who was named Young Australian of the Year for her contribution to the health and community sectors, identified the need for HealthLink after research suggested the use of the internet in the health industry is becoming more accepted. "The health industry is beginning to embrace online technology which means HealthLink is rapidly becoming more accepted by patients, practitioners and other stakeholders. "We have been motivated by the desire to connect patients and practitioners across the entire health system after research identified that at any one time 3.2 million Australians need to see a psychologist but two-thirds of those people do not see one when they need to because they do not know how to find the right psychologist for them," she said. "With the largest and most detailed online directory of psychologists in Australia, Specialist Link will help Australians get the help they need, when they need it," she said. On the back of Specialist Link's success, HealthLink will enter into the wider allied health profession one year ahead of schedule. "There is significant unmet need across allied health and HealthLink is helping to alleviate this problem throughout Australia," she said. Alison said the $100,000 prize offered in the UQ Enterprize competition would enable HealthLink to develop further e-health opportunities. "The $100,000 prize would be used to further e-health opportunities in Australia by giving us the ability to reach more practitioners and patients and to ultimately cement HealthLink as the 'industry standard' in health," she concluded. HealthLink will compete against six other national finalists for the $100,000 prize at UQ Business School's Enterprize Pitch Day on Wednesday 20 October. Enterprize is a national business planning competition organised by UQ Business School to showcase innovative products and business models to potential investors. The Enterprize competition is proudly supported by i.lab Incubator, an organisation that aims to accelerate the growth of commercially sound, early stage technology ventures. i.lab is celebrating its tenth year in 2010 and has assisted over 100 companies progress from the start up phase to commercialisation. For more information, entry requirements or to enter Enterprize please visit INotes to the editor HealthLink Managing Director Alison Hardacre is available for interview. Key dates Wednesday 15 September Business plans due Wednesday 20 October Pitch day For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Emma Norris PPR 07 3309 4704 / 0419 724