The Government’s response to the 2020 ideas summit illustrates, once more, the enduring allure of the techno-fix.

If boosting research into the bionic eye is the best of the bright ideas in health, then clearly we are in dire need of some improved vision.

What a shame we didn’t end up with an idea like this instead being developed: a $10 million prize is being offered in the US in a contest aimed at transforming the health of people in a community of around 10,000 people.

Entrants will compete in a three year trial to fundamentally change health financing, care delivery, and create new incentives for healthier lifestyles.

According to a Reuters report, the winner will be chosen based on a “community health index” of measures such as an improved ability to climb stairs, reductions in visits to emergency rooms and health costs. Teams will have 18 months to conceive, model, and submit their plans before the trial begins.

This is an exciting, innovative idea with the potential to create real change and real benefits for health. It might even have the side effect of helping the community – and politicians – to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the forces affecting our health. To get beyond the gismos.