Media release - From artificial intelligence to big data, digital health leaders learn from each other

At the inaugural International Digital Health Symposium held in Sydney digital health leaders, advocates, and healthcare providers, learnt about the many different global approaches to digital health.

Hosted by the Australian Digital Health Agency, The George Institute for Global Health, and UNSW Sydney, the symposium discussed digital health policy, how digital health can support clinical quality and safety, challenges in healthcare interoperability, data sharing for health systems improvement, and building the evidence base for digital health benefits.

In his presentation to symposium delegates, Agency CEO Tim Kelsey emphasised the importance of getting the digital health basics established to ensure the benefits of medical advancements can be passed on to the community.

"Tomorrow is coming at us very quickly. Whether its genomics, microbiomics, artificial intelligence, or machine learning, we just can't afford to waste any time on getting the digital basics in place so that the benefits of those emerging sciences can be provided to our citizens," Mr Kelsey said.

The learning from the symposium have been captured in the International Digital Health Symposium video.

Here are key quotes from the video:

Australian Minister for Human Services, Minister Assisting the PM for Digital Transformation Michael Keenan:

“We're living through a period of extraordinary technological change. It has been absolutely furious.”

Indian Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda:

“The digital revolution is long overdue in healthcare which can transform the way of physicians, nurses, field staff, and hospitals' work to deliver care.”

UNSW Sydney President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs:

“I'm delighted that UNSW has the privilege of hosting this international digital health symposium. It is a fantastic coming together of representatives from industry, from government, from academia, from healthcare, from all around the world. To address what is a topic that will revolutionise healthcare.”

“I see digital health as genuinely leading to a transformation and a revolution in the way we approach healthcare. If the ideas that are discussed at this meeting can really harness the power of digital health it will be transformational for the health of people in Australia and around the world.”

UNSW Sydney, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, Foundation Director Professor Louisa Jorm:

“The symposium is fantastic. It's the first of its kind that actually brings together a fantastic group of people, who've come here from all over the world, who are interested to hear about the Australian experience and sharing their experiences with us.”

The George Institute for Global Health, Director of Health Systems Science, Professor David Peiris:

“Digital health is going to be a very critical and increasingly important tool in the kit for doctors.”

US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Public Health Coordinator, James Daniel:

“Public health agendas focus on improving the health of the population. Good quality digital health data can be used to develop policy and evaluate these policies well.”

Singapore Ministry of Health, Integrated Health Information Systems, Director IT Planning Group, Chee Yong Chua:

“Digital health can enable patients to care for themselves at home complemented by a doctor behind the scenes, making sure that information is captured correctly.”

Narayana Health Founder and Chairman Dr Devi Prasad Shetty:

“Data is uploaded continuously wherever we are in the hospital or visiting patients in the community.”

VINNOVA Swedish Governmental Innovation Agency, Director, and Head of Health Division, Dr Jenni Nordborg:

“We need to connect our care providers from hospitals to the primary care setting so information can be transferred easily. This is one of our highest priorities.”

Australian e-Health Centre CEO Dr David Hansen:

“There's certainly so much knowledge coming out of our medical and research communities that shows that we need to be providing the systems and support to help our clinicians with their decision making.”

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President Dr Shane Jackson:

“From my perspective, technology is an enabler for good clinical practice. It presents data in a way that can be used as information and to be able to guide good clinical decision making.”

Australian Primary Care Nurses President Karen Booth:

"I think the innovations that I've seen today have been really inspiring. I still work in a general practice and I'm going back to my colleagues to read them the riot act about how they can get better.”

Further information:


Media contact David Cooper, Senior Media Manager
Mobile: 0428 772 421 Email: [email protected]

About the International Digital Health Symposium The Australian Digital Health Agency, The George Institute for Global Health, and University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney collaborated on this inaugural meeting of leaders in digital health. The symposium offered reflection and learning from different global approaches to digital innovation that are inclusive, evidence-based, and support sustainable, high quality health and care.

Digital health leaders from thirteen countries including Austria, Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the WHO attended the symposium, together with colleagues from Hong Kong SAR, the World Health Organization (WHO), industry, universities, clinical medicine, and civil society.

Click here to view the program, including the agenda and the full list of international and Australian speaker biographies.

About the Australian Digital Health Agency The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia's National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community.

The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information:

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