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International Digital Health Symposium brings leaders together

Published 23 February 2018

Digital health leaders from around the globe have met at the inaugural International Digital Health Symposium in Sydney to learn from different global approaches to digital innovation that are inclusive, evidence-based, and support sustainable, high quality health and care.

The leaders discussed the global advancement of 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. The management of global public health priorities, new approaches to disease prevention, and maximising the benefits of precision medicine were also discussed.



Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said that Australia and its international partners can learn from each other and share information about what has worked in their health settings to support best use of digital technology in modern healthcare.

“We are privileged to learn from our Australian and international visitors leaders in digital health innovation. The symposium is an opportunity for collaboration in the ever-evolving sphere of digital health and will help us to solve our own challenges and contribute to the advancement of health and care for the world’s citizens,” Mr Kelsey said.

The symposium was hosted by the Agency, The George Institute for Global Health, and UNSW Sydney and attracted leaders from thirteen countries together with colleagues from Hong Kong SAR, the World Health Organization (WHO), industry, universities, clinical medicine, and civil society.

The George Institute for Global Health Principal Director and Co-Founder Professor Robyn Norton AO said the symposium was a landmark event in support of its mission to develop practical solutions to improve global population health.

“The 21st century offers incredible opportunities to transform healthcare through technology and data. By bringing together government, academics, and industry, this symposium will help strengthen health systems and improve the lives of billions of people,” Professor Norton said.

UNSW Sydney President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs said that the symposium’s objectives matched UNSW’s commitment to developing new ideas, sharing knowledge, and debating research outcomes on an Australian and global level.

“UNSW places healthcare of Australians as a top priority and we look forward to continuing to support and contribute to the research, analysis, and advocacy of digital technology that will lead to better ways to help consumers and providers improve healthcare outcomes,” Professor Jacobs said.


Noel Gordon, Chair, NHS Digital


Dr Jenni Nordborg, Director of the Swedish Governmental Innovation Agency


John Chen, CEO, Blackberry


Dr Devi Prasad Shetty


Agency CEO Tim Kelsey


Compere Ellen Fanning


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 in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of the 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 professionals to provide informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. 

About The George Institute for Global Health
The George Institute is a medical research institute with projects in over 50 countries and a global network of experts and collaborators. The institute is challenging the status quo to prevent and treat chronic disease and injury, and is seeking to understand how innovative approaches such as mobile health can best address the biggest health priorities globally.

The George Institute conducts clinical, population and health system research aimed at changing health practice and policy. Established and headquartered in Sydney, the Institute is affiliated with UNSW Sydney and other world-class universities, with major centres in China, India, and the UK. Further information:

About the University of New South Wales, Sydney
As one of the world’s top 50 universities, UNSW Sydney is globally recognised for innovative teaching, world-leading research, and state-of-the-art facilities. The university houses Australia’s first Centre for Big Data Research in Health, which aims to maximise the use of all possible sources of big data to transform disease prevention and management, to deliver the highest quality health services for the global community.

The centre serves as an international hub for multidisciplinary health research using big data, working in partnership with clinicians, health services, policymakers, and industry. Specific focuses include health system performance, value, and waste in health care, and increasing the use of evidence in policy and practice. Further information:

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