Digital health opportunities in Australia have expanded dramatically. We’re world leaders in electronic medical records and the Australian healthcare sector is embracing big data and artificial intelligence, mobile health, connected devices and wearables, telehealth and telemedicine, and personalised and precision medicine. This is opening up exciting opportunities to access and create data-driven health services and products.
This is partly driven by the development of national health infrastructure that is highly interoperable. Australia’s federal and state governments are investing in multi-billion dollar infrastructure programs focused on supply chains, health identifiers and authentication services. The first regions in Australia are already showcasing comprehensive interoperability between all public and private health services, and care services.
Australians are eager to embrace new technologies in health. A national electronic patient record was rolled out in 2018 and is now used by 90% of Australian citizens.
AR and VR tools have been developed to help ensure healthcare professionals in rural and regional areas can maintain their training certifications and keep informed by attending conferences virtually.
Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy articulates national priorities for Australia’s vision of digital health. It includes secure fit-for-purpose interoperable digital solutions, supporting a culture for digital health adoption, use and innovation, and continues to progress opportunities to ensure Australians have equitable access to health services that meet their needs, especially in remote and rural Australia (including wider use of telehealth).
The strategy creates multiple opportunities for investment.
The Australian digital health market was worth around US$1.85 billion in 2020.
- The University of Newcastle has developed a VR tool called Road to Birth for midwifery students. A digital headset takes users on a 3D-journey through pregnancy, depicting a life-size female figure in front of them, whose gestation can be explored and observed.
- SIMTICS has created online simulations of over 120 clinical procedures to enable clinicians to practice their techniques, including sonography, radiography and ultrasounds.
- EDIE is a virtual reality smartphone app that helps people look through the eyes of a person living with dementia
- Visionflex is enabling remote assessment and diagnosis