Applications for The Challenge global healthcare search open tomorrow

The State Government is encouraging Western Australian scientists to brainstorm, collaborate and take on multi-national companies in the race to develop ground-breaking solutions which enhance healthcare in the Pilbara.
  • Search for cutting-edge technology to deliver quality remote healthcare about to launch
  • Applications will be accepted by WA Health from tomorrow (1 February)

The State Government is encouraging Western Australian scientists to brainstorm, collaborate and take on multi-national companies in the race to develop ground-breaking solutions which enhance healthcare in the Pilbara.

The Challenge is to reimagine technology and find solutions which deploy digital health to its full potential. A $5 million prize will be awarded to the winning solution which helps Western Australians living in remote and regional areas to access the quality healthcare they deserve.

BHP Group Limited, Rio Tinto Group and the Future Health and Research Innovation Fund have partnered to deliver the $5 million prize.

The WA Department of Health is leading the roll-out of The Challenge on behalf of the State Government.

Next week, the WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub will host an invitation only brainstorming workshop, where specialists, tech gurus and business leaders can network and co-design their submissions. For further information visit the WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub.

It's hoped representatives from Government, universities, research institutions, industry bodies and corporate entities will team up and think outside the box, pushing digital technology to a new level.

The global search has already attracted international attention, and multi-national tech giants have requested permission to back more than one project.

The winner will need to demonstrate proof-of-concept against an outcomes-based framework and integrate solutions into existing models of healthcare delivery in the Pilbara.

Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson met today with key stakeholders in the Pilbara to discuss how the regional workforce in the region may be able to support proof-of-concept finalists as they roll-out their project over a 12-month trial.

Submissions are open from 1 February to 31 March 2023.

For more information, visit the website:

Comments attributed to Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson:

"It's an exciting time in WA, The Challenge could create history and change the way remote and regional healthcare is delivered in this State.

"WA's resources sector leads the way in managing key areas of their remote sites from thousands of kilometres away - now we want to see the technology adapted to healthcare.

"We're searching for new or adapted technology based around research, to improve health outcomes for people living in the far-reaching Pilbara, a region which spans more than 500,000 square kilometres.

"Many health issues in the Pilbara could easily be treated and resolved with new solutions to healthcare pathways."

Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

"This is a great initiative supported by Rio Tinto and BHP for our Pilbara residents.

"In my role as Pilbara MLA I am always in awe of the adaptability and innovation shown by the people who live and work in often challenging conditions.

"I welcome this initiative that focuses these talents on such an important issue as healthcare and very much look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the whole of the Pilbara community."

Comments attributed to Rio Tinto General Manager, Dampier Salt, Laura Thomas:

"Technology plays a critical role in enabling our business to find better ways to deliver the materials the world needs as well as making our operations safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly.

"We are excited to see what innovations and technologies The Challenge unearths to improve healthcare and support thriving communities in the Pilbara.

"The health of our communities is no one organisation's responsibility.  It is only by working together with community, Government and industry that we will drive improvements that will ultimately help us reimagine healthcare in the Pilbara."

Comments attributed to BHP Asset President Western Australia Iron Ore Brandon Craig:

"We are pleased to partner with the WA Government on this initiative to help revolutionise the delivery of healthcare in the Pilbara.

"BHP is a long-time member of the Pilbara community and has a proud history of supporting health and wellbeing initiatives in the region.

"We are excited to see the ideas come to life and improve health outcomes for the people of regional Western Australia."

Minister's office - 6552 5800