Australia’s health system has contributed to a transformation in the human condition.
We’re living longer – a child born today will on average live to 83 and see in the 22nd Century.
We’ve largely defeated infectious diseases and our roads and workplaces are safer than they’ve ever been.
Our longer lives bring with them a greater risk of chronic and degenerative diseases which are difficult and expensive to manage and treat. Half of us have one or more chronic conditions. If we’re over 65 then 30 per cent of us have three or more chronic conditions.
Obesity is on the rise and Type 2 diabetes is reaching almost epidemic levels across the developed and developing world.
The health system can’t keep up. Annual health expenditure has passed $170 billion which is more than 10 per cent of GDP.
And the system is splitting at the seams. It’s too complex: for patients and their families, for health professionals, for industry, and for government.
Digital transformation is part of the solution.
Digital technologies have transformed how we work, travel, shop and socialise. We can buy almost anything we want in a moment using a smartphone. Why can’t we manage our health – our appointments, our medications, our records using our smartphones?
Digital Health could improve health outcomes AND reduce costs by
- giving care providers all the information they need
- providing transparency and access for consumers empowering them to manage their own health
- saving 20 to 30 per cent of the health budget by reducing low value care, adverse events and other problems
- enabling every Australian to manage their own health with their smartphone
- offering new national and international opportunities for smart health companies.
However, around the world government and the private sector have struggled with the complexity of digital transformation. In Australia the system still depends too heavily on physical records, faxes and the post, and even where information is available in digital form, it is often difficult to access and join-up with related health information.
The Digital Health CRC’s 80-member organisations represent every segment of the health system from patient to community, hospital to insurer, start-up to big government.
Our researchers, from 16 universities, will work with our health partners to develop and test solutions that work for real patients in real hospitals and other settings of care. And our business partners will work alongside them to ensure that the solutions are scalable and implementable. We’ll develop them in Australia, then take them to the world. [continue reading…]