Digital Health 18 May 2018
Making healthcare fairer and more efficient—introducing the Digital Health CRC
We were thrilled by the announcement on 13 April that the Australian government will invest $55 million in the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, one of just four CRCs funded this year.
With the support of our eighty-member consortium we will invest more than $200 million over seven years to develop and test digital health solutions that will work for real patients in real hospitals and health services, while equipping Australians to better manage their own health and wellness.
But first, we have to create the CRC from the ground up. Our priorities for the next few weeks include:
We plan to communicate with you regularly on the progress of the CRC, and on related news in digital heath. Read on in this bulletin for stories on the Productivity Commission report on data availability and use; ADHA’s call for digital testbeds, the World Innovation Forum in Healthcare; and highlights from our Twitter stream.
• A $200+ million opportunity to transform health delivery
• Productivity commission report into data availability and use
• Digital test beds to drive change in healthcare
• World Innovation Forum, Boston
• From our Twitter feed
Improving health outcomes; reducing waste in the health system; building businesses and jobs.
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.
But… our longer lives bring with them a greater risk of chronic and degenerative diseases which are difficult and expensive to manage and treat.
Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are on the rise. The health system can’t keep up. Australia’s 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. For example, adverse drug reactions in Australia are responsible for over 400,000 GP visits a year, and for 30 per cent of elderly emergency admissions. The cost is over $1.2 billion. We believe that half that cost is avoidable.
The Digital Health CRC will:
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 will work for real patients in real hospitals and other settings of care. 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. To catalyse the latter, we are partnering with US-based company, HMS, that provides solutions and services to health insurers and their customers across 48 US states[EF1] [NB2] .
Meredith Makeham, Chief Medical Adviser, Australian Digital Health Agency
Associate Professor Marcel Dinger, CEO, Genome.One
Prof Penelope Schofield, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre/Swinburne University
The Digital Health CRC welcomes the Federal Government’s response to the Productivity Commissions Report into Data Availability and Use.
The rights for consumers which were announced late last year—allowing individuals access to their data—are much needed, and the establishment of National Data Commissioner is a good step forward.
We hope that the health industry will be a fast follower and use these changes to expedite more open access to health data for consumers, health professionals and researchers alike.
‘Some 91% of Australians would be willing to share their
de-identified medical data if it went towards research purposes’
Research Australia, 2016
The Accredited Data Authorities are also a great idea. These bodies will support the linkage of datasets and decide whether a dataset is made available for public release or limited sharing with trusted users. If applied in health, it could speed up and enhance research.
Some of the complexities in sharing Australia’s health data, from the point of view of consumers, and of health researchers have been examined in the Flying Blind reports – a collaboration between Research Australia and the Capital Markets CRC. More at: https://flyingblind.cmcrc.com/consumers-digital-health and https://flyingblind.cmcrc.com/researchers-health-data
You can read the Federal Government’s full response at: http://dataavailability.pmc.gov.au
The Australian Digital Health Agency is calling for proposals for innovative test beds that can be rigorously reviewed and then scaled nationally.
These pioneering initiatives will be co-produced by consumers, governments, healthcare providers, and entrepreneurs and will test evidence-based digital empowerment of key health priorities.
Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said digitally enabled models of care are an important priority in Australia's National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure and the test beds demonstrate the Agency’s commitment to work collaboratively with stakeholders.
“Our global peers are increasingly recognising that Australia is in a unique position to test and trial digital health solutions that can be implemented in a diverse and sometimes fragmented system, and have the ability to scale nationally.
Projects can run for up to four years depending on the test bed however, baseline measures will be required by October 2018, and interim results at 12-18 months. Up to $600,000 is available per test bed. The tender closes at 2pm on Wednesday 6 June 2018. More at http://bit.ly/2K46Akl.
Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey
Demonstration of the ultrasound developed by Jonathan Rothberg being used by an audience member
The impact of machine learning on decision making was one of the key topics at the recent World Innovation Forum in Healthcare hosted by Partners Healthcare in Boston. Professor Tim Shaw used the Forum as an opportunity to introduce the CRC to his US colleagues. Tim will lead the Health System research in the CRC and is based at the University of Sydney.
Highlights included the demonstration of a portable self-guided ultrasound housed in a case the size of coffee cup. The device can be used by a novice to conduct diagnostic cardiac ultrasound. Atul Gawande, the influential surgeon, journalist and public health researcher, emphasised that much more attention needs to be placed on how technologies are developed so they can be implemented into real-world clinical situations – so called ‘Pragmatic Innovation’.
Forum participants acknowledged that machine learning algorithms can outperform humans in a growing number of areas such as imaging, pathology and genomics. However, industry and clinical leaders dispelled fears that AI would replace healthcare professionals, rather, a consensus was reached that the term Augmented Intelligence may better reflect the future partnership between clinicians and technology.
Tim also visited the Brigham and Women’s and MGH new Centre for Clinical Data Science.
Forum presentations are available at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCauKpbsS_hUqQaPp8EVGYOg
David Jonas was the founding CEO of the Capital Market CRC's healthcare solutions subsidiary, Lorica Health for six years and remains on its Board. He formerly served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Capital Markets CRC and the CEO of Capital Markets Technologies.
David has served since early 2013 as a non-executive director of Infoxchange, a major provider of technology to the not-for-profit sector and social welfare agencies of governments. He founded and led Australia's largest privately-held electronic commerce consulting firm, Electronic Trading Concepts (ETC), which was acquired by Securenet (now part of Verizon) in 2000. David's background includes seven years as CTO of a large multinational group of companies.
David recently wrote a piece for HealthCare IT about the change of thinking required for digital health.
“The digital tsunami has changed many aspects of the way we live and work but has yet to have a defining impact on our health and health care. Occasionally you catch a glimpse of digital health innovation but soon enough you’re back in a specialist’s waiting room perusing a months-old magazine and wondering how long it will be before consumers get a meaningful say in one of the most important and fundamental aspects of their life: their health.
“Sure, in Australia, where our health system is valued and trusted, we need to proceed with care, but the potential for real, substantive change that will make health care more effective and affordable is huge and you have to wonder why, when many of the enabling technologies are so successfully deployed elsewhere, that change has been so long in coming.”
@digihealthcrc: National Data Commissioner, Accredited Data Authorities and rights for consumers are all really positive steps forward for the sharing of #data. Hopefully the #health industry will be a fast follower https://goo.gl/Wj7N1s
@Swinburne: Director of Swinburne's Data Science Research Institute, Professor Timos Sellis, will co-lead a research program on data enabled health innovations under a new Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre: bit.ly/2HFOQvN
@GenomeOneHealth: @MarcelDinger says new @digihealthcrc will help drive forward Genome.One's vision of developing a platform to enable interpretation of the #genome at patients' point-of care, to guide clinical decision making. bit.ly/2HBPTNe
@timshaw132: Looking forward to being Health Systems Lead on new $112M Digital Health CRC announced by Federal Minister today
@eHealthNSW: Success of $200m @digihealthcrc bid is “a real boost to the #digitalhealth agenda in Australia and will help place us as an international leader in a field that's transforming the #patient experience" - @eHealthNSW CE Dr Zoran Bolevich
@digihealthcrc: Government backs @digihealthcrc - a $200+ million opportunity to transform health delivery: improving health outcomes; reducing waste in the health system; building businesses and jobs #health #healthcare #collaboration #innovation #digitalfutures digitalhealthcrc.com/blog
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