Digital Nation: How Australia became a digital health pioneer

The use of the internet and modern technology such as, smartphones, apps, cloud storage, and extensive data analytics has vastly changed the way that humans interact with one another. With the advent of these technologies and the many benefits they bring, it is of little surprise that governments worldwide are looking to leverage new digital tools to improve the delivery of healthcare.

Australia is one such country that has vastly increased its uptake of digital healthcare. For example, its national patient health record, called ‘My Health Record’, is a consolidated digital summary of Australian residents’ medical information and has more than a 90% participation rate – the highest participation rate in a novel national health record system in the world.

While the national health infrastructure development has been ongoing for more than a decade, in 2016 the Australian government established the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) to accelerate the delivery and realisation of the benefits of digital healthcare and to develop and implement a national digital health strategy.

Blue Latitude Health spoke with Rachel de Sain, an internationally renowned digital strategist, CEO, and founder of Codesain strategic advisory firm, and the former Executive General Manager responsible for innovation, design, and development at the ADHA. She reveals what she learned while overseeing the creation of Australia’s Digital Health Strategy, 2018–2022 and how she improved a number of digital health products and services, which have been built into the national infrastructure – including ‘My Health Record’.

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