AIDH facebook
Select Page

A new, strategic approach must be taken to meet Australian digital health workforce challenges, according to a leading University of Queensland clinical informatician.

Professor Clair Sullivan FAIDH CHIA, Director of UQ’s Queensland Digital Health Centre, said transforming healthcare will be vital to countering the ‘perfect storm’ of increased rates of chronic disease, workforce shortages and rapidly changing technology.

She was speaking today, Friday March 8, 2024 on International Women’s Day.

Professor Sullivan will deliver a keynote address on clinical and non-clinical trends and challenges in the digital health workforce at the Digital Health Workforce Summit organised by the Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH) in Sydney on 30 April, 2024.

The summit will discuss the cultivation of skills and foster collaboration to ensure that the healthcare workforce is able to harness the power of technology in the digital era.

Professor Sullivan, an internationally-recognised practising and academic clinical informatician who is ranked in the top 1% of medical informatics researchers globally, said meeting workforce challenges was critical to ensuring improvements in healthcare.

“Change is our new normal, so workforce practices cannot be ‘set and forget.’ We need to build capacity for ongoing learning of our workforce and be prepared for continuous change,” she said.

Professor Sullivan said most healthcare providers were doing the best to adapt to rapid change by offering training to their staff but more action was needed.

“We need to shift from being reactive to developing a strategic educational approach, including undergraduate and postgraduate programs and upskilling our current workers,” she said.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the rapid introduction of transformative technologies, which means that our workforce is now expected to use technologies that they were never trained or educated about, so we’ve got a gap.

“The old model of training where you were trained at university and then you had minor upskilling as you went along is no longer fit for purpose.

“Things are changing fast, and we need to make sure that our workforce remains ready to use new technology effectively.”

Professor Sullivan said there were a range of initiatives underway to address the workforce gap, and the Queensland Digital Health Centre was working with multiple partners to support efforts of public and private health providers.

At the Summit, Professor Sullivan will discuss a range of workforce challenges and trends. This will include workforce shortages, burnout, under-skilling of the workforce, cyber security, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, virtual health, remote health monitoring, mobile health apps and wearable apps. 

The Digital Health Workforce Summit is a unique opportunity to delve into the latest trends and challenges shaping the digital health landscape, offering insights that will empower professionals to navigate the complexities of an evolving industry.

The event will provide a platform for thought leaders, innovators, and experts to share their knowledge and strategies for building a robust and adept workforce.

Participants of the Summit will:

  • hear about digital health trends and challenges
  • gain insights about the role of workforce and digital technologies in delivering the Federal Government’s reform agenda
  • discuss leadership perspectives in navigating digital health workforce challenges
  • explore digital health and informatics career pathways and
  • examine roles for specialist digital health careers (informing the development of digital health and informatics career pathways.)

In her role as University of Queensland Professor of Digital Health, Professor Sullivan helps drive digital health transformation in Queensland. A specialist endocrinologist, she graduated with Honours in Medicine from The University of Queensland and earned a Research Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Leeds.

In 2014, Clair began a parallel career in the emerging field of digital health and has held leadership roles in digital health practice and governance across government and academia.

In 2020, she was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine in Clinical Informatics at UQ and the inaugural Head of UQ’s Digital Health Research Network. She is also the Clinical Informatics Director for Research at Metro North’s Hospital and Health Service and serves on several national advisory boards for digital health.

“Women have traditionally been underrepresented in the technology sector. I hope that that’s changing,” Professor Sullivan said.

“Women have much to bring to the sector and it’s wonderful to see so many women becoming successful in this area. I think the nicest thing is to see women supporting other women and anything I can do to do that, I will.”

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. On #IWD2024 we acknowledge and celebrate the many talented and dedicated women, such as Professor Sullivan, working to progress digital health.

More information on the Digital Health Workforce Summit

Program | Speakers | Register

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This