By the Chair of HIC, Robin Mann

Just over a year ago, I was asked if I would chair HIC2018 in Sydney. I immediately accepted and turned myself to seeking input from numerous colleagues from across the informatics community on what they would most like from the conference.

After a year working with a fantastic team and organising committee, who have been more than open to a little innovating, there will be a fresh feel to the event, in keeping with HIC’s 25th anniversary year.

This is why I think you should go to HIC this year:
Patient care is advancing incredibly quickly with better engagement, better outcomes and new more integrated models of care; increasingly driven by the availability of new technologies, increasing availability of data and advances in ways of using it.

The pace of change through this ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is so great that to stay informed you can no longer rely on reading journals or trying to filter through innumerable social media posts. You need to attend at least one major conference a year and here is why I think HIC is the one to attend:

  1. Independent – HIC is organised by HISA, which is Australia’s foremost health informatics community membership association. HISA members get discounted rates and access to many regional and national events every year, but HIC is the main event.
  2. Person centred – being independent, the conference is primarily oriented around the needs of the receivers of care, rather than those with a financial or commercial interest. This means it can lift us from embedded thinking and challenge the status quo.
  3. Everyone who’s anyone will be there – HIC brings together the smartest people in health, care and industry in Australia. Expand your network and get connected to advance your ideas and career!
  4. Relevant – HIC is designed by Australians for Australians, this year it targets the needs of clinicians today, the latest innovations, and on setting the scene for what is coming over the horizon.
  5. Informative – learn about the best innovations and digital health outcomes in Australia and around the world, in the main presentations, on the trade floor and throughout the streams. There is something for everyone, regardless of background or expertise, with special additional sessions for clinicians this year.
  6. Inspiring – the best speakers from digital health, tackling some of our most wicked problems.
  7. Fun – the program has all the best formats from previous years and introduces a few innovations to engage and enable greater participation. The networking events and Gala Dinner are always a big hit if you can make them.

HIC is celebrating its 25th birthday and a lot of work has gone into the program for you by HISA and the organising committee, so here is a quick rundown of the keynotes and panels and why they are on the agenda:

DAY ONE – what is current best practice in digital health?

Professor David Bates wiki
David is one of the world’s great innovators and foremost authorities on digital health, based in Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, which I had the privilege of visiting about 15 years ago. He will kick off the conference to talk about the last 25 years of digital health and his deliberations on how things will pan out in the future.

Matthew James AIHW
Matthew is the deputy director of the AIHW, which uses data to develop reports on health and welfare issues in Australia. Matthew will get straight into the linkages of health and social care and how this should benefit the health and welfare of all Australians.

Rachel Dunscombe and Andy Kinnear SRFT
Rachel has an illustrious career in digital health in the UK and is now the CEO of the NHS Digital Academy. She will be joined by Andy Kinnear, the Director of Digital Transformation, NHS South, Central and West CSU, to talk about the role of clinical leadership in digital health and transformative change.

The UK is a leader in clinical involvement in digital transformation and, alongside NHS innovations, has recently launched a new professional college faculty for clinical informatics. In Australia, the inaugural CXIO network will meet on the Sunday before the conference, and members of this network will be at the conference to answer questions.

Lissa Smith linkedIn
Lissa is well known and highly respected for her work in digital health in Australia. Lissa will lead an impressive provider/insurer panel to consider the role of data in driving system and business change.

Panel members include:

  • Julie Andrews CEO, Australian Home Care Services
  • Sally Evans Chairwoman, LifeCircle
  • Dr Linda Swan Chief Medical Officer, Medibank
  • Isobel Frean Head of eCare Strategy & Governance, Australia and New Zealand, BUPA Medical
  • Dr Sally Phillips GM, Health Services, TAL

It promises to be an interesting discussion with two providers of person-centred care and three providers of health insurance at the table.

DAY TWO – what are the greatest innovations today?

Dana Lewis linkedIn
Dana stunned the world in 2013 by inventing her own DIY pancreas system. This is perhaps an example of patient engagement in healthcare research and innovation and she will talk about this and her work since.

Dr Louise Schaper twitter
Louise is the CEO of HISA. Louise is a passionate digital health advocate and leader. She will lead a panel to discuss technology advances and how the system needs to respond. The panel includes:

  • Katherina Redford Executive Director of Care Services, Moyne Health Services
  • Dana Lewis Founder and Researcher, #OpenAPS
  • Dr Monica Trujillo Chief Clinical Information Officer, Australian Digital Health Agency
  • Dr Zoran Bolevich Chief Executive and Chief Information Officer, eHealth NSW
  • Andy Kinnear Director of Digital Transformation at NHS South, Central and West CSU (UK)

This will be a fascinating discussion with a mix of NSW public health, federal agency, and integrated care provider in Australia at the same table as a digital transformation lead in the UK and a patient innovation advocate.

Alana Henderson and Nicci Passmore Hunter Headline
Alana stunned us last year with her story of survival coming ‘out of the fog’ after having a stroke. Alana returns this year with Nicci Passmore, who is a consumer of health and disability services in the Hunter. They will discuss their experiences and perspectives of health and human services in Australia, and some of the opportunities they see for greater integration.

Tony Jones ABC
Tony is well known as the host of Q&A on ABC television, and of course for hosing HISA Q&A panels at HIC. This year’s panel is carefully placed to follow our consumer presentations and will consider the obstacles to person centred care across health and human services.

This year’s panel includes:

  • Alana Henderson Managing Director, Alana Henderson Pty Limited
  • Martin Bowles PSM National CEO, Little Company of Mary Healthcare Limited (Calvary)
  • James Downie CEO, Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA)
  • Prof Clara Chow Sydney Medical School Westmead and Director Cardiovascular Division, The George Institute for Global Health

I’m sure you’ll agree this is quite a line up, and the discussion should be insightful, especially after Alana and Nicci’s presentation around integration of care across sectors.

DAY THREE – what’s on the horizon?

Jim Birch AM linkedIn
Jim is the Chair of the Australian Digital Health Agency, and is also on the Boards of several provider organisations and a digital health company. He is well placed to talk to the role of the Agency and other organisations in the future of care in Australia.

Chris Longhurst UCDS
Chis is CIO and associate chief medical officer for quality and safety at UC San Diego Health. Chris will talk about his experiences and the future of bringing health services and systems together through regional collaboration and data sharing.

Dr Glenn Singleman wikipedia
Australia’s flying doctor with a difference, Glenn is a Medical Practitioner, adventurer and film-maker. Against the backdrop of a future of artificial intelligence and widespread change in the sector, Glenn will bring a unique and entertaining, but also highly relevant, perspective to building personal resilience.

Liam Malone Celebrity Speakers
Liam Malone is a retired Paralympian who works with Auckland-based artificial intelligence firm Soul Machines, known for their cutting edge, world leading technology. Soul Machines creates life-like digital humans including BabyX, and were recently in the news having developed ‘Nadia’, with the voice of Kate Blanchett, as a possible digital interface to the NDIA. Liam will talk about the realities and advancements in artificial intelligence.

Christine Ross linkedIn
Christine is an Arrernte/Kaytetye desert woman who was born in Alice Springs and grew up in Darwin. She has an impressive career as a teacher and later manager and consultant in media, education, employment and indigenous relations. She is a member of several Boards including the Indigenous Woman in Business Australia, Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC), Sevenoaks College Follow the Dream Program and Chairperson of Langford Aboriginal Association in Perth. Christine will consider the implications of digital health and why it is important to make a difference to peoples’ lives, especially the indigenous peoples of Australia.

Tim Kelsey wikipedia
Tim is well known in our informatics community as the CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency. A few of us remember his work with Dr Foster in the UK, which used data to highlight performance issues in the UK health system. Somewhat controversial at the time within the medical profession but certainly promoted greater clinical engagement in data and service improvement. His passion for transparency led him to other senior UK roles before he saw the light and came to Australia. Tim will talk about Australia’s digital health future.

This says nothing of the fantastic contributions in the different streams representing Australia’s best, an impressive vendor and sponsor line up, and a few innovations coming to HIC this year, including a ‘virtual world tour’ with video interviews with leaders from a selection of the most innovative health systems around the world.

I look forward to seeing you there!