By Ali Green

As we hurtle through the digital era it seems every day brings new innovations in the form of clever apps, new ‘toys’, new ways of being socially connected, and generally, better ways of doing things. Digital advancement has impacted the way we bank, shop, educate and entertain ourselves and has led to faster and more efficient services.

Could digital tools also be the answer to our national health system challenge? Sarah Dods, research theme leader for Health Services, pondered this question in The Conversation earlier this month. On its current trajectory, it is estimated that by 2043 health expenditure will exceed the entire state and local government tax base and require almost half of all government taxation revenue.

Today we released the report ‘A digitally-enabled health system’ which is set to revolutionise the way we interact with our health system. Click on the image below to explore what this system could look like.

Click to explore what our future health system could look like.

Click to explore what our future health system could look like.

The digitally-enabled health system will herald such technologies as telepresence robots that take rural health workers on city ward rounds; remote guidance technology that assists health workers in the field; wireless ID wristbands that monitor patients’ temperature and blood pressure in real time; mobile health apps that assist with at-home rehab; and smart software that knows what types of patients will be turning up to emergency departments, 6-12 months in advance.

For an insight into the digital health system, follow Lee’s journey after a broken arm.


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  1. I just had a broken arm fixed at Rosebud Hospital with followup at Western Hospital in Footscray & now with my local physio. Not sure any of this ‘high tech’ is an improvement on the care I got…. The doctor at the Fracture Clinic needed to SEE new x-rays & SEE my arm…. I’m in favour of high tech — and interesting that you selected an example I just went thru. Rosebud (maybe because small hospital, on a quiet day) but care was fast & Great! Deb

    On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 10:38 AM, News @ CSIRO

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