Report highlights importance of digital health

Earlier this month, the Australian Broadband Advisory Council released the Health Expert Working Group’s report into enhancing Australia’s digital health ecosystem.

The report focuses on how connectivity, technology and data can support new models of care, like the accelerated use of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The uptake of this technology was helped along by measures introduced by the Australian Government in response to the pandemic, leading to significantly improved access to telehealth, including access to general practitioner, specialist, allied health, and nurse practitioner health services.

The Working Group consisted of representatives from leading patient and rural advocacy groups, Aboriginal community controlled health organisations and academics. The Working Group found that access to digital health care should be considered an essential component of future health care delivery alongside, and integrated with, face-to-face care.

The report outlines a number of recommendations for Government, including:

  • integrating digital health within the current health ecosystem
  • improving patient engagement with the health care system
  • extending the reach of the health care system to regional/rural areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • improving digital skills for patients and health professionals.

Read the Health Expert Working Group’s report.

About the Australian Broadband Advisory Council

The Australian Broadband Advisory Council (the Council) was established in July 2020 to provide advice to the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts on ways to maximise the benefits of high speed networks in key sectors of the economy.

The Council is working to explore and promote ways the NBN and other high-speed networks can be used to lift Australia's economic output and the welfare of Australians more generally. The Council's work includes identifying opportunities and barriers to realising the full potential of high speed networks and developing strategies to support Australians and Australian businesses as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three Expert Working Groups have been established in the areas of agriculture, construction and health.

For more information, visit the Australian Broadband Advisory Council working groups page.