Shining a spotlight on innovation in healthcare

August 3, 2023

An interview with CEO, Jemma Iles

For Olinqua CEO, Jemma Iles, the term ‘innovation’ brings with it a strong sense of purpose and motivation – it is the catalyst for creating greater value by doing things differently – doing them better.

We recently sat down with Jemma to chat with her about two of her greatest passions in life – innovation and healthcare – and how they intersect.

For those who don’t know much about you, can you tell us how your passion for innovation started and grew?

“Of course! I began my career in human resources, working in sectors as varied as retail, construction, mining, manufacturing, and government. This multitude of experiences revealed the transferable nature of skills and the power of innovative thinking in diverse environments.

I encountered innovation in its raw form, while optimising the production line in a caravan manufacturing plant, and saw how lean manufacturing techniques could drastically reduce production time. This experience was a transformative moment that shifted my perspective on innovation – it’s about enhancing systems, processes, and workflows to create and capture value.

Innovation found its way into my work in government as I focused on performance optimisation and employee engagement. There, I learned that innovation thrives when people are linked to the purpose of an organisation, encouraged to critically analyse problems, and develop unique solutions. The more I worked towards improving organisational efficiency, the more I realised that innovation is not merely a luxury but a necessity.

It was a spark that soon turned into a roaring flame, lighting the path to my role as Olinqua’s CEO today.”

You’ve really worked across a number of sectors! Now being in the healthcare space, what role does innovation have to play in future-proofing this industry?

The intersection of healthcare and innovation is a unique one. Healthcare is an industry steeped in tradition, yet it is also a field that continually demands advancements.

I have had several previous roles in this industry that were built on innovation. Here at Olinqua, we are challenging the traditional hospital-centric care model by harnessing innovation to create a more patient-centric approach. Every day, we strive to enhance the healthcare experience, believing that hospitals should be a last resort and not the primary solution.

You mentioned previous roles. Are there any notable innovation projects you worked on that were really ground-breaking in healthcare?

Absolutely! One project that I had the pleasure of working on that encapsulates this patient-centric philosophy was the tele-triage system, developed in response to ambulance ramping, at one of the busiest emergency departments in Western Australia.

With this innovation, emergency medical professionals can virtually triage patients in an ambulance, ensuring faster and more efficient care. This idea was born out of necessity and developed through collaborative workshops with internal and external stakeholders. The result was a tangible impact on patient care – a truly transformative moment for the team.

Because of projects like this, now at Olinqua, I see innovation as a strategic imperative and a daily practice, not a sporadic occurrence. Our digital innovation focus on transforming the way we approach healthcare challenges, and our international networks allow us to learn from global perspectives.

This is the embodiment of our philosophy: understanding our strategic goals, aligning all stakeholders, and breaking silos to foster a culture of innovation.

How do you identify opportunities for innovation?

For us, identifying opportunities for innovation comes from a deep understanding of our customers, the global healthcare industry, and the interconnectivity of both.

We believe in the power of listening, learning, and leveraging the knowledge from our extensive networks and experiences. We refuse to develop solutions without knowing the problems we’re solving. This practice ensures our innovation is always purposeful and effective.

Intelligent automation is a key part of the innovation Olinqua is delivering. What role do you feel automation plays in driving healthcare forward?

Yes, that’s right! Intelligent automation is essentially ‘Olinqua’ and what we offer in a nutshell!

When we talk about intelligent automation, we’re not merely discussing mechanised processes; we’re envisioning an ecosystem that integrates technology, data, and human intuition to streamline healthcare operations and deliver superior patient outcomes.

As Olinqua’s CEO, I see intelligent automation as the compass guiding us towards smarter, more efficient hospitals.

There is no doubt that intelligent automation is a transformative force. It’s capable of boosting efficiency, reducing errors, and freeing up time for value-added tasks. More importantly, it creates a framework for intelligent decision-making based on real-time, accurate data.

At Olinqua, we recognise the potential of intelligent automation platforms – it’s literally what we offer – to reimagine patient care and hospital operations. We understand that automation is not just about using advanced technology; it’s about using the right technology in the right way to address pertinent challenges.

As an innovator, how do you find working at Olinqua?

Innovation used to be a nice-to-have function, but now it’s becoming a standard in any business. We’re now applying innovation to the growing business that is Olinqua – we are innovating every day with our product in the way we help solve problems with our customers.

I get to work with a whole team located across Australia, who are embracing innovative thinking in their day-to-day work. We are delivering an innovative solution and making an impact in a critical area of health – freeing up professionals to be able to make a difference in patient care.

Olinqua is an amazing combination of my curiosity, engaging people, and feeling a sense of purpose!

The future of healthcare is bound to be full of challenges, but with an innovative mindset, these challenges can transform into opportunities.

 It’s not merely about introducing new technologies or systems but nurturing a culture of constant curiosity, critical thinking, and a commitment to creating value in all that we do. That’s the Olinqua way, and that is the future I envisage for healthcare and beyond.