Leveraging Social Enterprise

We see social enterprises and the private sector as key to improving access to healthcare, regardless of a person’s economic situation or where they live.  We are focused on finding more novel, scalable solutions to address the biggest causes of disease and disability worldwide, namely non communicable diseases and injury.

social enterprise for health


To complement our world class research, we are putting the concept of social enterprise into action. 

social enterprise solutions

The George Institute has for many years been operating a growing suite of commercial entities with differing but related missions. 

From innovative clinical management services to developing novel, high quality drug treatments and digital clinical intelligence systems to improve patient treatments in emerging markets, The George is offering concrete health social enterprise solutions.

Our approach

  • Bring innovative and more affordable health solutions to emerging markets through our commercial arm, George Health Enterprises (GHE).  GHE leverages the Institute’s research insights to create commercially-viable and scalable product lines and businesses
  • Reinvest a significant part of GHE’s commercial profits into more research and innovation
  • Continually improve the cycle from Innovation to Commercialisation
  • Support innovation with global competitions and the launch of our first accelerator/incubator (planned for 2019)
  • Grow our social enterprise thought leadership program to foster knowledge sharing
health enterprise approach

Examples of our social enterprise’s novel solutions

Combination pills

We founded SmartGenRx Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based social enterprise venture between The George Institute for Global Health and Bupa Australia, focused on developing innovative pharmaceutical products to address critical health problems.

Trials by The George have consistently shown that combination pills reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol, to levels that could halve the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Our research has shown that patients who have suffered a stroke or heart attack are 40 per cent more likely to stick to their treatments if they take just one combination pill – instead of four different tablets each day.

SmartGenRx is currently developing a new combination pill - a ‘polypill’ and undertaking regulatory trials with a view to introducing this to the market in Australia in the next few years. By increasing the likelihood that people will take their medication consistently, we can reduce the devastating effect of heart disease in Australia and around the world.

Video: SmartGenRx Pty Ltd is a new Sydney-based venture between The George Institute for Global Health and Bupa Australia, focused on developing innovative pharmaceutical products to address critical health problems.

Video: SmartGenRx Pty Ltd is a new Sydney-based venture between The George Institute for Global Health and Bupa Australia, focused on developing innovative pharmaceutical products to address critical health problems.

Affordable dialysis

Every year over 2.5 million people globally receive dialysis and a further seven million people die of kidney disease because they can’t get access to life saving treatment. The cost of dialysis is a significant barrier to access, with annual treatment costing tens of thousands of dollars.

To help come up with ideas to solve this significant issue we ran a competition to create an affordable dialysis machine.  The winning solution was a world first, miniaturising and combining a number of existing processes to develop a system that is reliable, safe and cheap. Each machine will be mass produced for a fraction of the current cost of dialysis and will provide dialysis for up to five people. The new machine will be about the size of a loaf of bread so it is fully portable.

Product development is proceeding apace and regulatory approvals are expected in 2021.

Through Ellen Medical Devices, our medical device social enterprise, we will soon be examining partnering opportunities to make this new life-saving technology available in the countries that need it most.

By bringing together people from all over the world, we can tackle the issues of health access and collaborate on new treatments for the world's deadliest diseases.

Video: The Affordable Dialysis System could save millions of lives each year and transform the way kidney disease is treated around the world.

Video: The Affordable Dialysis System could save millions of lives each year and transform the way kidney disease is treated around the world.

What are some other health issues we can tackle through social enterprise?

What we need to understand is, what are some of the everyday health challenges that could be resolved through social enterprises? How can social enterprises support us to develop more efficient health care solutions?

We’d love to hear from you!