Aimwa awards red pinnacles

Innovation success in tough times

Two previous AIM WA Pinnacle Award winners share the innovative initiatives that led to this well-deserved recognition

4 minute read
Aimwa awards red pinnacles

 Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) CEO Richard Simonaitis and East Metropolitan Health Service's Data and Digital Innovation Area Director Adam Lloyd spoke to Workplace Conversations That Matter about the innovative initiatives that secured these prestigious awards.

Perdaman Asian Engagement Excellence Award 

AEGIC took home the 2021 Perdaman Asian Engagement Excellence Award for its tireless efforts to innovate, research and improve the Australian grain industry and how it connects with international markets.

Employing technical advances such as virtual crop inspections, targeted webinars and information portals, AEGIC received ongoing positive feedback from stakeholders and industry leaders.

AEGIC Chief Executive Officer Richard Simonaitis explained the impact of the award for the organisation.

“It’s great to be recognised for delivering value on behalf of Australian growers and the Australian grains industry,” 

AEGIC provided technical support, industry information and seasonal updates to international flour millers, food and beverage manufacturers and other grain buyers to help them maximise the value of Australian grain. 

With limited experience in video production and online webinars prior the pandemic, AEGIC was able to quickly adapt to provide the service to its customers.  

“AEGIC was recognised for our agile, multi-pronged strategy for maintaining and enhancing engagement with Asian markets during 2020-21, when international travel was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“We produced a series of virtual crop inspection videos in collaboration with the Australian grains industry and hosted a number of technical online webinars and business meetings with key customers. 

“We also supported these customers with technical support and information products.”

Mr Simonaitis said these initiatives were important to maintain the connection with customers who would usually travel to see crops and farms first-hand. 

“Australia’s grain customers highly value keeping track of growing conditions and seeing our supply chains in action,” he said.

“It gives them confidence in our production systems and supply chains and, just as importantly, it helps maintain the human connections between producer, trader and customer.

“We are very happy to be able to support these requirements and build new relationships within the industry.”

AEGIC nominated The Regional Men's Health Initiative to benefit from its $20,000 training prize.

“AEGIC exists to increase value for grain growers, so we were very happy to be able to support The Regional Men's Health Initiative, who do great work in regional WA,” Mr Simonaitis said. 

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre Innovation Excellence Award 2021

Awarded with the 2021 Pawsey Supercomputing Centre Innovation Excellence Award, the East Metropolitan Health Service’s (EMHS) Health in a Virtual Environment (HIVE) program was the first-of-its-kind, virtual health initiative in WA. 

The service offers 24-hour remote monitoring of medical and surgical inpatients at Royal Perth Hospital and Armadale Health Service. 

HIVE is on the national forefront of healthcare innovation, according to EMHS Data and Digital Innovation Area Director Adam Lloyd. 

“Monitoring is undertaken from a single location – the Command Centre based at Royal Perth Hospital that operates 24/7,” he said.

“From the Command Centre, dedicated clinicians remotely monitor patients through a clinical platform. 

“The patients remain in their beds where they continue to receive treatment from care teams on the wards.”

Mr Lloyd said HIVE also made use of artificial intelligence (AI), with bedside health monitors capturing the physiological data of each patient, transmitting this in a live continuous stream to the EMHS Command Centre. 

“The AI platform’s analysis of patient physiological data, along with other patient information, enables it to detect deterioration in a patient’s condition up to eight hours in advance of any obvious signs of decline and immediately alerts clinical staff to the change,” he said.

“The technology also enables ward clinicians to press an alert button, which notifies HIVE clinicians of the need for assistance. 

“By using a technology platform with AI, it detects changes in a patient’s condition as early as possible. 

“Earlier detection means early treatment, and this helps patients to leave hospital earlier and in better health.”

“The EMHS Command Centre currently has capacity to monitor 50 patients across Royal Perth Hospital and Armadale Health Service more than 30km away.”

Mr Lloyd said the HIVE service was the first example in WA of a clinical service that used technology and AI to deliver better care for patients – overcoming physical barriers brought on by COVID-19 protocols. 

“HIVE went live at the end of 2020, during the first year that COVID-19 was present in WA,” he said.

“Designing a new service during a time where healthcare workers were already facing new and difficult challenges was complicated."

“Without the support of the clinicians on the ground and the hospital leaders, this kind of a change would not have been possible.”

Mr Lloyd said it was a privilege for EMHS to be recognised as a leader in innovation in such a competitive field, nominating Manna Inc as the recipient of its $20,000 training prize.  

“Manna Inc is local charity in the EMHS catchment that is one of the largest providers of meals to the homeless and disadvantaged,” he said.

“Manna is run mostly by volunteers – more than 100 of whom give their time on a regular basis to preparing and delivering food services to Perth’s needy.” 

If you haven't yet participated in Western Australia’s premier business and leadership excellence awards, the AIM WA Pinnacle Awards recognise the outstanding organisations across the corporate, government, community and not-for-profit sectors in Australia that have a significant footprint in WA.

Each year, organisations were commended for their commitment to customer service, environmental sustainability, marketing, workplace wellbeing, corporate social responsibility, human resource management and Asian engagement and innovation, with gongs for Emerging Business Excellence and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Excellence also being awarded.

Winners of an AIM WA Pinnacle Award each receive a $20,000 training prize to gift to a charity of their choice, giving a tremendous skills boost for the people working in organisations critical to the community.