“It actually is quite easy to be a futurist with regards to where are we going with health,” says Dr Ron Grenfell, director of health and biosecurity at CSIRO. “It takes 15+ years to get evidence into practice,” he told the Commonwealth Bank’s Future of Health conference in Sydney last week. The “inertia of the system” will hold back the adoption of a lot of technology that’s being pitched as the future of health. That, in your writer’s view, is one of the two big conceptual challenges at the heart of so many discussions of the digital transformation of healthcare. Vendors are pitching technologies like AI and chatbots to reduce the workload of humans, yet the healthcare sector is way behind the pace. Dr Kevin Cheng is founder of Australian healthcare provider Osana. They use cloud communications provider 8×8 for their own needs, and use cloud-based medical records, but they run into the usual problems when communicating with other providers. “I tried really hard not to buy a fax machine for our startup, but we failed,” Cheng said during a roundtable in Sydney last week, to much knowing laughter. “When I talk to allied health and specialists, we’re often crossing IT barriers. It’s hard to get people on the phone to talk, so we’re very transactional … the other clinician could be sitting in a room next door, but we’re literally writing letters to each other and not talking,” he said. Cheng believes Australia is lagging behind other high-tech nations…. [Read full story]
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