After four years of making the long trip to Australia we are delighted with the outcomes from our first HealthXL Global Gathering in Melbourne this week. The meeting brought together our local advisors and international members including Bupa, Roche Diagnostics, GE, IBM, Resmed, UCSF, Novartis and many more to discuss topics including precision health and patient empowerment.
Our host for the week was MCRI (Murdoch Children's Research Institute) which is the largest child health research institute in Australia and one of the top five worldwide. The event was designed to coincide with CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Innovation in Digital Health and the ANDHealth(Australia’s National Digital Health Group) Summer Summit and was hosted in the ultra modern Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in the heart of the city’s medical district.
1. It doesn't really matter how good a solution is clinically if it results in additional cost
Demonstrating clinical evidence is never enough. When you consider the financial pressures all healthcare systems face, solutions that don't reduce cost are unlikely to succeed. We need to focus on the services already available to us, incentivising behaviour change, subverting existing methods of health care in the community by joining disparate groups and services.
“Why are we sending out scarce nurses to remind patients to take their medicine? Why not use existing service providers such as Postal Network, Utilities or neighbours?” - Mattiu Bush, Bolton Clarke
2. Moving from Meta Data to Mata Data
....to information that actually matters not just what is possible to collect. Focusing on the information that is both valued and understood by the patient, caregiver, doctor is key to adoption and patient empowerment.
“For Patient Outcomes and Patient Generated Data to be useful we need to measure outcomes in a meaningful way for all health stakeholders and figure out how do we give back information/advice/services that are meaningful to the user” - Aenor Sawyer, UCSF
To realise the power of health information we need to move from data to actionable insights.
3. Children are digital natives and more likely to adopt digital health than the rest of the population.
This is especially true for areas like mental health where engaging with technology might be easier than talking to a therapist. Oxana Pickeral from Amazon Web Services highlighted the use of digital assists in the home, meet them where they are and capture data in their daily environment including symptoms, biometric data and lifestyle choices.
4. Precision Medicine can deliver 5x diagnosis for 1/4 of the cost but it depends
…on the population, the implementation, the technology and the disease. The point is we need to get into the weeds and understand that none of these technologies are silver bullets but there are some making impactful advancements.
A good example came from Bruce Thomas' presentation on Gates Foundation’s work in medicine adherence, using technology to solve problems in TB care in a resource limited and high burden population. Providing patients with gold standard solutions economically ($8 for a 6-month tx course).
Andrew Sinclair also outlined his team’s work to dramatically improve diagnosis at a fraction of the cost at a national level.
"With access to the best clinicians and researchers, Australia is well positioned to be the default pilot health site to the rest of the world" - Rob Grenfell, CSIRO