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May 2019

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Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research Frank McGuire with Northern Health’s Peter Brooks and board director Peter McWilliam, Tata Consultancy Services’ Shalini Mathur, Northern Health CEO Siva Sivarajah and TCS’ Bernie Maher.

Northern Health focus on digital technology

Northern Health is looking at innovative ways of creating a sustainable future in healthcare with digital being a key component.

The healthcare service’s catchment population will almost double by 2030 and already has a social and ethnic diversity, which produces significant challenges.

In response, Northern Health has hosted the inaugural digital health futures summit at the Northern Centre for Health Education and Research (NCHER).

The two-day conference worked to identify further solutions to some of the important clinical issues Northern Health faces every day and develop solutions by looking at new approaches to models of care and partnerships with the community.

Many of these solutions will involve technology.

‘We increasingly depend on technology in aspects of our daily lives – communicating with friends, making appointments, purchasing things – from entertainment to clothes and banking – and now it is time to see how technology can enable healthcare,’ said health research lead Peter Brooks.

‘The major challenge for Northern Health is thinking creatively about how we provide high quality care and ensure we can support people in their homes when we discharge them,’ Professor Brooks said.

‘We realise for a health service to be sustainable in the future, we need to do things differently,’ said Northern Health Chief Executive Officer Siva Sivarajah.

‘While looking at innovative ways of creating additional acute capacity, we need to look at other ways to help our patients stay well and improve patient satisfaction.

‘There are great opportunities to create a sustainable health system using new models of care and the right technology,’ Mr Sivarajah said.