Politics, clinicians or demand holding back Australian digital health? The debate.

A familiar debate raged at the Connect Expo Future Health Summit in Melbourne this week [TTA 15 Apr]. Is lack of digital health adoption due to lack of political push, as Lyn Davies, managing director at Tunstall Healthcare, maintained? Australia continues to back the Personally Controlled EHR (PCEHR) to the tune of AU$1.1 billion so far, yet it is still not integrated into the healthcare system. Are clinicians allergic to technology qua technology projects, and need to be approached differently to adopt digital health, as Donna Markham, advisor to chief executive affairs at Monash Health, said? Is it people–the patients– not seeing any benefit to things like PCEHR, a lack of demand filtering down to the practice level, per Toby Hall, Group CEO of St Vincent’s Health Australia? There is a certain comfort in the issues not being much different in a smaller, centralized health system (as the US is not–and as we’ve learned from ISfTeH, in Germany telehealth adoption is low). What seems to be missing is a perspective on what individuals are doing with their own health management and tracking outside the system. TechRepublic Hat tip to David Trainor of Belfast’s Sentireal on David Doherty’s mHealth LinkedIn group (signup required).

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