Looking ahead to a digital transformation of health and care

Digital health technologies will do more than just replace faxes and paper notes.

The first stage of implementing a digital health system is to replace fax messages and paper notes with digital equivalents. The second stage is to devise entirely new healthcare workflows that take full advantage of digital health technologies. The finance industry has already undergone such a transformation, with greatly improved efficiency and convenience as a result.

In this month’s video, Kylie, a young mother, asks why she can’t conduct a medical consultation for her child directly through her mobile phone. A simple question, whose answer would take the form of a digitally-enabled model of care. We’re currently exploring a number of such models of care, each made possible by the My Health Record as a foundation.

Can we devise new digital workflows to improve care for chronic patients? For the elderly? Or for those in remote locations? Answering these questions and others like them will in time lead to a broader transformation of the delivery of health and care.

We also expect that in the longer term, new digitally enabled models of care will empower patients and foster a more participatory approach to health and care, in which patients actively collaborate with their healthcare providers to improve outcomes on their own terms. And it is likely that there are other benefits that we haven’t even imagined yet. We have much to look forward to.