Healthcare | Technology

Why we need greater collaboration between the health and tech sectors

23 Apr 2018, by Informa Insights

Technology is a major player in today’s business landscape. Improved processes, seamless deliverables, and enhanced client experiences. Much of the reason industries can no longer go it alone. The key? Collaboration.

 

With the national population approaching 25 million people, the public health sector is one of Australia’s most expended customer-based industries. Accounting for 8.5 percent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (which is almost one in every twelve dollars), the health industry is a huge part of our lives[1].

No matter their speciality, health professionals need access to premium tools and resources to make appropriately informed diagnosis and deliver efficient results.

The Australian health sector is abundant of technicians, supplies, and standards that protect our consumers. According to the Australian Government Digital Health Agency, Australia’s health services are among the best, most affordable and efficient in the world.

This is great news as we all want the best for ourselves, our families, and our our community in general. However, it is not enough to get complacent.

Public hospital waiting times are continually at the forefront of health sector issues. Fees and accessibility to specialised treatments are other topics of conversational concern. As discussion hots up, so does the need to find solutions – and fast.

 

So, how do we improve a seemingly semi-oiled machine?

Enhanced technology is in high demand within the health sector.

The industry has started to realise that there are more efficient methods and processes involved in quality healthcare, and it is technology which binds it. Collaboration between the health and technology sectors is vital moving forward.

 

Digital technology in the health sector

We already have access to so much that we need at the press of a button. Communication and catch-ups via virtual reality, shopping, and travel and leisure experiences. People want speedy results, answers not conundrums, deliverables not probable’s.


Access to digital information is the new foundation for the health industry and, as expectation weighs in, the holes are slowly being filled.


According to the National Digital Health Strategy (NDHS), established in 2016 by the Australian Government, digital technology is transforming both quality and sustainability of health care. The benefits of this technology are impressive.

According to the NDHS[2], Australia’s healthcare industry will experience the benefits of:

  • reduced hospital admissions
  • less adverse reactions to prescribed drugs and medications
  • reduced medical errors
  • avoidance of unnecessary duplication of pathology tests, x-rays, etc.
  • enhanced care for people with chronic or complex conditions
  • increased assistance to make more informed decisions for treatments
  • cross-collaborative efforts between hospitals in respect to patient records and improving the channels of communication
  • greater access to healthcare for people in rural and remote areas

The Australian Government’s digital My Health Record is an online summary of personalised health information that you as the consumer control. You have the choice to share the information with your health care professionals. According to the NDHS, The Australian Medical Association described the initiative as “the future of medicine”.

Along with healthcare providers, the NDHS says that many of the Australian states and territory governments have prioritised digital health to improve services for consumers.

 

Are there other collaborations in the pipeline for the health sector and technology?

Collaborative advances in medical technology have already seen improved surgical procedures that cut down on costs and recovery times. Systems like the da Vinci use AI-enhanced features to transform invasive surgery into non-invasive.

As the technology and health sectors unite more readily, we are certain to benefit from more of these advances in health and medicine. Are there environmental impacts that could be improved? More savings to be had? Less time taken to train medical professionals through the use of robotics and AI?

It is no secret there is continual pressure on the health sector to deliver results above and beyond. Consumers demand attention and the health sector delivers its best prognosis. At the moment, it is fairly clear-cut that Australia needs to improve deliverables before we get anywhere near “the best”.

The health sector is an industry that can, and will, benefit from collaboration within the growth and development of technologies.

Digital technology is a great foundation to work from, however we are nowhere near comfortable enough to drop anchor just yet. We welcome what the health sector future will deliver through accelerated collaboration with technology.

 

Sources:
1. Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. The Quality of Australian Health Care: Current Issues and Future Directions, written by Martin Fletcher
2. Australian Government: Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy

 


 

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