A refugee immunisation app for healthcare practitioners takes out Brisbane’s Random Hacks of Kindness
Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is a global movement of technologists who hack for good, hosting competitions twice a year to develop solutions for purpose-driven organisations.
This year not-for-profit GP clinic Inala Primary Care in Queensland, along with the RHoK Brisbane arm, has taken out the local gong for its immunisation management app, which replaces a complicated set of guidelines on different vaccines.
The app will help doctors manage immunisation schedules for 18,000 refugees to be settled in Australia in the next 12 months, as well as the hundreds of thousands of migrants also arriving.
Inala Primary Care is now seeking partners and funders to help roll it out as a national solution.
Lead developer Chris Smeed, Inala Primary Care’s director of finance and business development, says it is critical for refugees and migrants to catch up with immunisations on arrival – however, the problem is widely ignored as it takes more time to deliver than is reimbursed by Medicare.
“Refugees settling in Australia are very aware of the consequences of illnesses, which is why they are among the most willing of patients when it comes to catch-up immunisations,” says Mr Smeed.
“But the current manual nature of this checking and the complexity of finalising an immunisation plan means many GPs do not feel they have the time or competence to complete the work. This leaves some of society’s most vulnerable at risk of developing preventable diseases.”
Mr Smeed highlights the importance of using technology in the healthcare space.
“Leveraging technology is increasingly important in an environment where more patients have two or more conditions and are being prescribed multiple medications,” says Mr Smeed.
“Clinicians need soft skills in dealing with patients, clinical knowledge based on hard science, and smart solutions to suppor them to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
“We are a small organisation doing the hard work most general practices see as too complex or costly to perform.”