Digital focus on agriculture and health

Encouraging the adoption of new technologies in agriculture and health is a priority for the Australian Broadband Advisory Council.

The Council has established expert working groups to assist these sectors adopt new digital approaches which could significantly increase productivity and services such as telehealth, following the release of the Riding the Digital Wave: Report on COVID-19 Trends report.

The Agri-tech Expert Working Group (EWG) will consider how digital services can enhance productivity, identify barriers and encourage greater uptake of technology.

It will examine the wider impacts of digital services in regional and rural communities, and their work will complement the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s National Agricultural Innovation Agenda.

The working group will be led by Ms Andrea Koch, who is member of the National Farmers’ Federation Board and manages her own consultancy firm, and Mr Peter Waters, who has expertise in data, artificial intelligence and connectivity for agriculture and experience in the telco sector with Vodafone, Telstra and the Global System for Mobile Communications.

The Agri-tech EWG has released a Project Brief that identifies its initial focus, key issues and its current strategic thinking.

The Health EWG will look at the digital ecosystem across the health sector, with a specific focus on how connectivity, technology and data can support new models of care, including the accelerated use of telehealth during COVID-19.

It will look at ways to improve virtual and digitally enabled health care for patients, and training for health workers through smart technologies.

The Health EWG will be led by Associate Professor Christine Giles, who is a leading health and policy expert with experience at the state and Commonwealth levels, including being on the Audit Committee of Cancer Australia, and Mr Luke Baxby, who is a leading Australian healthcare expert with Deloitte. The Health EWG Terms of Reference can be found on our web page.

Members of the EWGs will be appointed shortly.