The Smart Technology Living Lab is pleased to release the report from our first stakeholder workshop, held in June at the University of Canberra. The workshop was focused on digital health, and participants engaged in co-design activities directed at mapping the landscape of current digital health and imagining the future of digital health.
The full report is available here: Report – Digital Health Stakeholder Workshop.
The workshop outcomes demonstrated the complex relations between individual consumers and healthcare providers, social groups, organisations and the digital health technologies that are currently used in Australia. The activities and ensuing discussions within the group generated the following key insights:
- Digital health technologies offer valuable ways for health consumers, healthcare providers, community groups and health industries to create and share information about health, medicine and healthcare. These technologies can effectively provide information, support and social networks for health consumers and improve healthcare access and delivery.
- Ethical and social issues need to be considered, including whether some individuals or social groups might be stigmatised by a focus on self-management of health.
- Some consumer groups and providers are currently excluded from full participation in the digital health ecosystem, due to lack of necessary infrastructure, social disadvantage or economic factors, their health status, lack of skills or interest, or because their needs are not adequately recognised.
- Health data are potentially valuable to all stakeholders, albeit in different ways.
- Establishing a system for the effective collection, protection and sharing of health data is highly complex. While Australia is leading the way in some respects in terms of developing the legislation, digital infrastructure and systems required, there is much that still to be accomplished.
- Mechanisms for facilitating further consultation between the various stakeholders involved in digital health, including consumers and carers, need to be established, so that their needs and interests can be incorporated into future policy development and planning.
- The rights and responsibilities of the different stakeholders involved in connected digital health need to be better identified and highlighted.
- It is important to find an effective and ethical way to connect health data with all involved stakeholders. Siloed data needs to be better shared across sectors and parties.
- At the same time, personal data privacy and security need protection. Health consumers need to be able to invest their trust in government and other stakeholders to protect their personal data.