39 – MSIA Members Forum, Medical Software Industry Association

Talking HealthTech

39 – MSIA Members Forum, Medical Software Industry Association

March 23, 2020

39 – MSIA Members Forum, Medical Software Industry Association

In this episode are interviews with some of the biggest names in Australian health policy influence and clinical leadership.

Earlier this month, at Baker Mackenzie in Melbourne, Australia, the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA) hosted its March Forum for members.  If you didn’t know, the members of MSIA are providers of technology to the healthcare industry in Australia.  When the MSIA puts on an event, they get the very best of the best in key opinion leaders and experts into the room to provide some really meaningful and actionable insights foe members.  They also do a bunch more outside of events like essentially being the voice for every software vendor to raise important issues right up through government to influence policy decisions, which ultimately link back to how technology is adopted in the healthcare ecosystem here in Australia.

And in this current climate of COVID-19, which is essentially a rapidly evolving crisis situation that is relying heavily on health technology to address a global catastrophe, the need has never been more obvious to have a single voice, a consistent message and some clear direction. 

So, at this MSIA Forum earlier in the month, much like last time, Pete was able to catch a lot of the presenters after they spoke for a few minutes debrief – essentially this episode of the Talking HealthTech podcast is the TLDR of the MSIA March Forum.  

If you want to check out the slides from these presenters and see the full program of who presented, get in touch with the MSIA and learn about becoming a member, as these presentations are filled with amazing insights that aren’t for public release.  It’s simply a non-negotiable in our opinion for all healthtech vendors in Australia to be a member of the MSIA.  


Interviews in this episode include:

George Tambassis, National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

He has been a community pharmacist for over 25 years and is a partner in 5 community pharmacies in and around the city of Melbourne.  As president of the guild, he is essentially the voice of the 5,700 pharmacists in Australia

George has a keen interest in enabling community pharmacies in Australia to work to their full scope of practice to maximise benefits for patients and the health system

At the MSIA Forum in Melbourne, George participated on a health policy panel session called “Sharing the health burden and pushing the boundaries, Health leaders stake their claims”.  It was fascinating to watch George debate some important topics with the President of the AMA – who essentially represented every doctor in the country, to see what they definitely agreed on, kind of agreed on, and definitely did not agree on.

In a chat with me after the panel, George shared some of his key takeaways from the session.


Dr Tony Bartone, President of the Australian Medical Association,

Tony shared his thoughts on what needs to change in healthcare in light of bushfires and corona virus, and what all parts of the ecosystem should be focusing on to enable better patient care and a more sustainable healthcare system

Toby Hall, Group CEO of St Vincent’s Health Australia.

Toby presented to the forum a session called “A brave new idea for health funding and opportunities for industry”

Contrary to what you think the leader of one of Australia’s largest provider of hospitals would say, Toby talks about how the future is not delivered in acute hospital, and how we should stop investing in hospital beds.  Listen in more to his debrief to learn more about his approach.


Professor Trish Williams, Cisco Chair, and Professor of Digital Health Systems at Flinders University.  

Trish knows health technology – she essentially launched the first ever practice management system for general practitioners in Australia.  

Trish spoke at the forum about user experience design, and the important aspects of designing good software, especially when it comes to the healthcare arena.  

Trish gave some insights for software developers on how to create solutions with greater chance of adoption by clinicians, and also some tips on how to work in some of these user centric approaches to the otherwise super rigorous tender submission process that you would encounter when applying for a government tender process.  

Professor Michael Kidd, Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine of Canada.  

Michael’s presentation to the group was titled “Taking Stock of Digital Health – Australia, Canada and Utopia”. 

Michael brought home the Forum by talking about developments he has seen outside of Australia, like in Canada and Asia, and how patients are using technology to interact with providers.  Michael also shared how Australia stacks up compared to other companies in the use of technology in primary care. He also gave us a look into some of the cool big data initiatives that are underway as well.

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