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New digital health design lab creates opportunities from healthcare technology investments

Photo: New digital health design lab creates opportunities from healthcare technology i....
Healthcare in Australia is an annual $180 billion commitment, escalating with the aging of our population and the complexity of modern care. 

Australia has made substantial investments in information technology within our healthcare systems, both at the state and national levels, to ready the country for these challenges. 

But how effectively are these capabilities being leveraged?  This commitment to digital health records, the communication infrastructure and clinical/personal devices, has created a vast sea of often isolated information. 

The opportunity we now have is to take a fresh look at that data and the systems which support it. 

To look across organisations, technologies and models of care, exploring new ways in which data can be leveraged to build better health processes and  provide safer, more efficient and higher quality patient outcomes.
Using this approach, the new $1.5m digital lab, jointly funded through Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration program and Flinders, brings together some of the most passionate minds in healthcare, industry and academia to create practical digital health solutions to some of society’s most pressing health challenges.  It will look at how technologies are assembled into clinical and operational capabilities, in new ways that enable the carers, patients and systems to create improved processes, delivering more effective, patient centred experiences.

The Lab will be launched on 10 February 2020 during the Flinders Digital Health Research Centre Symposium in Adelaide (10-11 February), which is also bringing together some of the world’s experts in digital health and digital-enabled medical devices.

The lab is part of Flinders Digital Health Research Centre, with Cisco Chair and Professor of Digital Health Systems at Flinders University, Trish Williams leading the team.

“The Lab will be a place for demonstration of practical and scalable outcomes to improve healthcare delivery though smart application of technology to support people and process. This exciting venture will be driven by industry collaboration and ‘possibility thinking,’” Professor Williams says.

The Digital Health Design Lab and recent Cisco-Flinders research program initiatives include:

  • Cybersecurity & Privacy measures in hospitals
  • Digital Hospital Safe Wireless: A standards-driven framework for safe wireless design and implementation in hospitals.
  • Infrastructure Maturity Assessment: An international benchmark for the technology capabilities required to support increasing sophistication in healthcare delivery.
  • Infrastructure Information Experience Framework: A method to create a positive impact on the patient and clinical experience whilst supporting operational outcomes. 
  • Campus Mental Wellness IoT Framework: For enhancement of student wellbeing.

The Lab is drawing on years of industry and healthcare experience in data and design thinking to understand the unique environment of healthcare settings and create solutions which integrate seamlessly into their workflows.

Sam Gerner, Managing Director, Digital Transformation Office, Cisco Australia & New Zealand says the Flinders Digital Health Design Lab represents a ground-breaking opportunity to leverage Australia's significant investment in healthcare information technology and transform our care processes.

“It will bring together academia, care providers and industry around the big systems challenges in the provision of healthcare. It will provide insight and leadership on the role of information systems in truly transforming the care process and enabling a more resilent and patient centered healthcare environment.”


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