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Friday, March 02, 2018

They Are At It Again - Spruiking The Digital Health Future As Awesome Wonderful Fact - It Isn’t!

This appeared last week:
  • Updated Feb 21 2018 at 7:00 PM

Data and technology to transform the medical system

This content is produced by The Australian Financial Review in commercial partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. 
"We collect one billion times more data on our cars than our bodies," Murray Brozinsky recently stated at the Commonwealth Bank's Future of Health Conference.
A recognised digital health leader, and chief strategy officer at Conversa, Brozinsky advises some of the world's leading healthcare organisations on the changing nature of health.
Comparing cars with humans might seem a bit of a stretch but his point is we're able to get so much diagnostic information from our car every time we get it serviced yet most of us still know very little about how our bodies are performing.In his presentation, Brozinsky outlined how healthcare was evolving with augmented reality technologies and artificial intelligence and illustrated a not-too-distant future where passive invisible sensors will be able to track everything biologically relevant on the body.
"They will feed into our electronic health records and all that information will go to create rich artificial intelligence-driven conversations between care teams and patients. We will be able to move from descriptive to predictive to preventative care very quickly. Patients will be providing valuable patient-generated health data (PGHD) and will be virtually involved in the consult," Brozinsky said.
"We will see a major transformation in the doctor-patient relationship from today's episodic, visit-centric and inconvenient healthcare to a future of continuous, virtual conversations that leverage PGHD to deliver better care at lower cost. Using data to move from treating the 'average' patient to treating the 'individual' person will also dramatically change the patient experience to one that is personalised and empathetic."

Power to the patients

Importantly, more personalised healthcare stands to have a huge impact on government health budgets. For example, McKinsey estimated the value of improved health of chronic disease patients through remote monitoring could be as much as $US1.1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) annually worldwide by 2025.
In another presentation, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) executive manager emerging technology, Chris Connor, said technology was just the tip of the healthcare solution. He said what we're finally realising is it's a great enabler, generating value by "putting the patient at the centre of everything we do".
Connor indicated blockchain technologies would have a huge role to play in the health sector, especially around the issues of "trust, information and privacy".
He said CBA was a great believer in a self-sovereignty model where "we give the identity back to the customer and get them to decide who they share with and under what conditions they share".
Managing director and the former head of the digital health division at Israel's Clatit Health Services, the largest health maintenance organisation in Israel with more than 4.2 million members, Yossi Bahagon, said we were entering the era of personalised care and what made digital health a game changer was it's human centred.

Digital diagnosis

Bahagon said we had to remember "digital health is not about technology, there are people behind it".
At a time when Australia is still wrestling with implementing a nationwide e-health strategy, Bahagon who was an architect of Israel's e-health system spoke of how it had been successfully implemented there with no cyber-security breaches, as yet.
"We've built one system that takes all your personal information and turns it into preventative personalised recommendations. It's a participatory health platform - a tool for saving lives," he said.
He said it had greatly improved the quality of care in Israel, especially around preventative care, and obviously reduced the cost burden.
An example is when people have to renew a prescription. All they have to do is logon to the system which is biometrically enabled to a sealed database where the doctor can send the prescription to your smartphone, which you take to a pharmacist for fulfilment.

Healthcare revolution

As for the sensitivity around privacy issues, Bahagon said Israel created rules for all situations "where privacy is more important than accessibility to data".
General manager of partnerships and strategy at Healthscope, Bennie Ng, who was participating on a panel discussing health technology, was confident on the power of data, suggesting patients should be able to use data to discover individual outcomes at the surgical level, for example.
"I think funders will insist that all practitioners and surgeons measure their outcomes," he said. "We're already heading down that path and what it will do is change the focus of the conversation to the consumer."
Dr Louise Schaper, the chief executive officer of the Health Informatics Society of Australia, agreed data and technology were revolutionising healthcare. 
"Every single healthcare institution is going to have to rewrite their business plan," she said.
"The internet of things will ensure over the next five years, the majority of clinically valuable data will not be captured in the facilities health professionals run but in what we do every day. How do we build business models around that? We're on the cusp of significant change."
Vastly more here:
I hate to break the news but the same headlines and the same commentary has been around since the turn of the century. Sure we have seen small incremental improvements over that period but words like revolutionise and transform are as exaggerated now as they were a very long time ago!
Why is it when you put apparently intelligent people together in a room they get all carried away and detach themselves from the need for the hard work that is necessary?


Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...


IMHO, the problem lies not with "apparently intelligent people.

If you look at things like the English Industrial Revolution, (which changed artisan/craft industries), the development of the automobile (which replaced horses), the development of the mainframe computer (which changed the way many businesses and government worked) the development of the microprocessor/personal computer (which replaced mainframes and changed mush of the rest of business and government), the internet (which stuffed up old retail models, media businesses etc), the development of the smartphone (which has changed society at all levels), all major changes came from outside the industries they replaced.

Where Digital Health, which includes ADHA, is failing is that they are asking the people who know what happens today (that includes medics as well as technologist working in health) what the future should be. They may be intelligent, but they are not skilled in the disciplines and possibilities of the future.

The future of health care will not come from inside current health care. Automating existing practices gives the impression of progress, but in many cases will just make things worse.

Further, many, if not most, people working in health care will not recognise the future, not because of a lack of intelligence, but because they are not equipped to understand radically different ways of doing what they do now. In fact, in many cases, what they are doing now will not be done in the future.

And in case you were wondering I’m not talking AI, Machine Learning, robots or health records.

Anonymous said...

It is a good pitch to the audience. Bankers can understand the money involved and the return on financing. Semi automous cars etc.. not sure comparing humans to cars is a good one, the human brain monitors the body in a way that far out performs computers, unless the intention is to hook everyone into some sort on matrix the comparison is mute.

That aside nothing in these articles says MyHR is the answer anymore than a 1965 Holden Ute would add any value to the car industries data needs.

They would do well to avoid the buzzwords and horizon scanning and be themselves, I am sure that would provide far richer dialogue.