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The main lesson from COVID-19 is the value of data. Where would we be now without daily intelligence on testing rates and the number and location of new cases?

The other lesson is the need to innovate, as we’ve seen with telehealth. If there is a silver lining to the black cloud of COVID, it is an appetite for change that didn’t exist before.

That also means, according to Lloyd McCann, Head of Digital Health at Healthcare Holdings Limited in New Zealand, a new willingness to adopt digitally enabled healthcare approaches for the longer term.

McCann sees digital health as a critical enabler of a value-based approach to healthcare that meets rising expectations and delivers outcomes that matter to patients. To that end, his organisation is embracing “healthy data” which is accessible, useable and ready for action.

The first stage was the go-live of InterSystems TrakCare at MercyAscot Hospital, supported remotely during New Zealand’s lockdown using videoconferencing and other tools.

TrakCare provides patient administration and, soon, an electronic medical record system that is “foundational” to a data-driven healthcare organisation, says McCann. On this MercyAscot is building analytics to drive value for its patients and, beyond that, embedding a culture of change and innovation which will see increasing adoption of automation and AI.

Learn more about this digital health journey during the presentation, ‘COVID-19: A Catalyst for Innovation’ at the Melbourne Digital Health Institute Summit on 20 November in the Hospital Implementation and Change track.

By Luciano Brustia, Regional Managing Director Asia Pacific, InterSystems

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