26 – Louise Schaper, HISA

Talking HealthTech

26 – Louise Schaper, HISA

November 25, 2019

26 – Louise Schaper, HISA

Dr Louise Schaper is an expert in health informatics, and is passionate about transforming the health sector by leveraging technology to provide sustainable and better health for everyone.

Louise is the CEO of HISA: Australia’s digital health community. In this role she brings together world-class clinicians, researchers, innovators and organisations from across biomedical, health and technology who are committed to the improvement of health outcomes enabled through innovative uses of technology and information.

In this episode Louise talks to Pete about HISA and it’s role in the health community as well as the evolution of Digital Health.  Louise also delves into the importance of events to bring together the healthtech community, and the big themes in Health IT today.


[02:00] The background of HISA: Back in 1992 HISA was founded when computer technology adoption generally was low.  They became Australia digital health community.  Bringing the tribe of digital health ecosystem together 

[03:40] HISA is putting out a paper about where they see digital health.  Sneak peak: before we spoke about health it, ehealth, digital health is interchangeable Digital Health is different to the application of IT in healthcare.  In 2019 they are leading that conversation – health in the digital age.  How does health transform to the fact world is digital these days.  Hard to implement.

[05:50] The Australian healthcare system isn’t screwed, we deliver high quality healthcare to many people, but generally it needs to be fixed.  Not broken but could be better.  Not a fault of clinicians, technology doesn’t give them the right tools to do their job in the more effective way possible.  Work to do to change that situation

[06:50] In America, $4.2 billion invested in digital health in first half of 2019.  A lot of money invested globally, especially in Silicon Valley. Since 2011, in US, $29.4 billion invested in digital health. 

[08:00] Investing in healthcare is riskier investment, it’s not like other industries.  In healthcare, focus needs to be on the workforce.  No matter how much you invest and how great the tech is, the workforce needs to understand why we need to change in healthcare.  Need to change the business models of healthcare.  Need to be critical on how we look at technology while we embrace it.  This is not taught in uni for doctors.  Can’t just put devices infant of clinicians and expect them to embrace it.  Investing in upskilling workforce in digital health is growing area.  Seeing increasing momentum in dollars spent on this area.  

[11:15] HISA is Independent but partners with many organisations including ADHA Australian Digital Health Agency.  Run events, forums, connect people who feel they are alone in digital health world.  Also working with nurses and midwives to build a digital health capability framweeworl for nurses, and ADHA is sponsoring that.  Will be launched next year – worlds digital health nuses and midwives coming to Brisbane next year, launching there.  Individual nurses and midwives, employers and educators to see what does a nurse need to know about digital health to be the best nurse they can be.  Upskill workforce, educators can plan curriculum, and nurses and midwives look to improve their career.  

Workarounds are inevitable if training and onboarding in 

[16:00] When we nail it, we can just go back to calling it health.  It’s not health IT, healthtech. E-commerce just became commerce and became the norm / they became redundant.  Eventually technology will be the norm and how we do things.  

[18:00] The way we manage healthcare information hasn’t really changed  in couple hundreds of years.  Since Florence nightingale’s time.  She complained about the lack of information she could use for comparative purposes to help patients.  Things move slowly.  We will get to a point where Florence wanted where clinicians have real time info, live dashboards, helpful info to make best decisions about patients, and consumers can have access to our healthcare information, in a useful way.  

[20:00] We share common passions and frustrations in healthcare – it’s slow to change.  HISA events bring up to date and relevant info at events.  Events are important to bring community together and share what we’re doing.  In healthcare we are so busy.  Walk up and down isles of hospital or GP clinic and people are busy delivering health . Taking time to network, learn, share and question to then collaborate and build a better future.  It’s happening.  For start ups the pace of change can be frustrating.  Technology evolving at rapid pace with artificial intelligence, quantum computing, but they aren’t well applied in healthcare yet.  Things move at a slow pace but anything worthwhile has to be done properly.  If you’re a VC, occ health physician or start up, make sure you’re in it for the long haul because it’s a complex system to change.

[24:00] FHIR – Graham Grieve did a lecture for Louise, and its the most downloaded podcast.  Legend, even would be proud of it if if wasn’t Australian, and taking world by storm, is exciting.  Very excited that Apple Health is using FHIR to build their stuff, fabulous they aren’t creating their own data silo and using FHIR.  Small thing as well – CliniCloud who invested the digital stethoscope.  Originally doctors in Melbourne who said they can build new and Digital selling to mums with babies. 

[27:30] HIC conference will have more of an international audience.  In 2021, Medinfo conference 3,000 people, global health informatics leaders coming to Australia.  Opportunity to show off what you’re doing, start working on extracts now.  White paper on how we see Digital health as a conversational starter.  To upskill in digital health, over 700 people certified in health informatics.  

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