By Khaled Chakli
Director of Leadership & Policy
It is the right of every Australian to expect a consumer-centric, connected, and digitally capable healthcare system. Australia’s pandemic response proved that it’s possible.
Digital enablement could define twenty-first century healthcare.
For decades, there have been calls for the integration and use of technology in healthcare, its enablement, and its delivery.
Despite this, progress has been frustratingly slow.
Many may argue that this slow progress is a measure of the scale of the challenge – not the willingness or need in the community.
However, over the last 24 months, we’ve witnessed the expedited adoption and scaling of digital health solutions across the Australian healthcare landscape.
This willingness to propagate the pervasion of ICT throughout the healthcare system, and to digitally enable consumer centric-health services is proof that it can be done.
But to maintain this momentum, there’s much we need to do.
Shifting the Dial on our digital health transition.
The COVID-19 pandemic heralded a new era of quasi-technocratic governance. The scientific and health advice of experts was placed at the centre of government pandemic-response decision-making.
However, this approach is beginning to wane, and the voice of experts are being eclipsed by political messaging.
This risks the knowledge and insight gained from the rapid adoption and scaling of digital health technologies not being adequately considered in the current discourse on the future of Australian healthcare.
Shifting the Dial aims to ensure that the digital health sector has a voice at the table, and that the expertise of our Fellows and members is duly heard and considered now, and into the future.
That’s why, through extensive consultation of AIDH constituent units over the last six months, the AIDH has developed Shifting the Dial – a high level strategy to focus and amplify the institute’s leadership and advocacy efforts.
Built on the foundation of the quadruple aim: enhanced consumer experience, improved population health and health equity, reduced costs and better value care, and an improved work-life for healthcare professionals, the strategy has three pillars – each with three focus areas.
These pillars and focus areas are designed to focus our efforts on the areas of greatest need; to lead, elevate and move the national conversation on health and healthcare; and to achieve the most significant impact towards ‘shifting the Dial’ on our transition to a digital health future.
Shifting the Dial is a strategy by the digital health sector, for the nation. That’s why we’ve intentionally kept it high-level. We want Fellows and members – the pioneers and leaders within our sector – to have input into how we influence the future of Australia’s healthcare system.
Our first step in further developing this strategy is the establishment of Expert Advisory Groups (EAGs), which will be the driving force behind the continual refinement and delivery of Shifting the Dial.
There will be three EAGs, each corresponding to a pillar of Shifting the Dial, and will consist of ~10-15 experts.
The EAG model is multidisciplinary at its core. EAG composition will be guided by a set of criteria that ensures equitable gender, profession, and consumer representation, including representation from established as well as emerging professionals and experts.
Shortly, the AIDH Board will invite Fellows and members to express interest in joining an Expert Advisory Group.
Together, we can Shift the Dial on Australia’s transition to a digital health future.