Empowering Australians through digital health

Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy 2023 - 2028 aims to enhance personal health and wellbeing. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Aimed at putting Australians at the forefront of their healthcare journey, federal, state, and territory governments have jointly endorsed a comprehensive five-year plan leveraging digital technology to enhance personal health and wellbeing.

Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy 2023 – 2028, along with its accompanying Strategy Delivery Roadmap, charts a course towards a more inclusive, sustainable, and healthier future for all citizens.

Amanda Cattermole PSM, CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency, hailed the Strategy and Delivery Roadmap as the culmination of extensive collaboration among government entities and stakeholders, including consumers, caregivers, healthcare providers, research institutions, and technology pioneers.

“In an age of precision medicine, characterised by healthcare innovations like wearable technology and AI-driven genomic research, we are witnessing a paradigm shift towards personalised and preventative healthcare. The National Digital Health Strategy is essential to support this shift while fostering a connected, secure, inclusive and ethical healthcare system, backed by robust legislation,” Ms Cattermole said.

“The Strategy captures areas of reform that require a nationally co-coordinated effort across all jurisdictions to drive transformation in digital health.“

Dr Steve Hambleton, Chief Clinical Advisor at the Agency, emphasised that technological advancements are already enhancing health outcomes and curbing inefficiencies. He highlighted the pivotal role of initiatives like the default sharing of diagnostic tests to My Health Record in augmenting clinical benefits and consumer engagement.

“Immediate access to critical diagnostic information wherever requested is a quantum leap forward in supporting clinicians to make the best decisions for the patient. 

“Digital tools will never replace doctors but doctors who use digital tools will likely replace doctors who don’t,” Dr Hambleton said. 

The National Digital Health Strategy 2023-2028 outlines four key outcomes aimed at reshaping Australia’s digital health landscape:

Digitally Enabled: Establishing connected, safe, secure, and sustainable health services.

Person-Centered: Empowering Australians to manage their health and wellbeing with access to relevant information and tools.

Inclusive: Ensuring equitable access to healthcare services as and when needed.

Data-Driven: Leveraging readily available data to inform decision-making at individual, community, and national levels, thereby contributing to a sustainable healthcare system.

Learn more here digitalhealth.gov.au/national-digital-health-strategy