Australian healthcare leaders see telehealth as top priority

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More than four in five (81%) health leaders in Australia believe the nation’s healthcare system has shown resilience in the face of COVID-19, in part thanks to the support of technology.

The latest Royal Philips Future Health Index report found that 63% of Australian healthcare leaders have telehealth as their top technology investment priority.

Nearly 30% of healthcare leaders say their hospital or healthcare facility most needs to invest in implementing predictive healthcare technologies in three years’ time to be prepared for the future, with 77% saying AI is one of the digital health technologies they would most like to invest in.

The report found that healthcare leaders are investing in AI to optimise operational efficiency, integrate diagnostic systems, improve clinical decision-making and better predict healthcare outcomes.

To meet their digitalisation goals, 45% of Australian healthcare leaders are eager to collaborate with health informatics companies to help drive their digital transformation agenda, the report found.

“The effects of COVID-19 have undoubtedly taken a toll on the global healthcare sector. Through it all, and as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic in Australia, we remain one of the few industrialised nations to have implemented an effective national response,” Philips ANZ Managing Director Matt Moran said.

“The Future Health Index 2021 Australian report highlights how Australia’s healthcare leaders have not only effectively managed the pandemic, but how the decisions made over the last year will inform the sector’s ability to strengthen health system resilience and deliver futureproof care.”

But the report also found that 43% of Australian healthcare providers are facing a shortage of skills that threaten to impede their ability to adopt advanced technologies. Nevertheless, only 30% of respondents consider staff training necessary to implement digital health technologies successfully.

Other barriers to adoption include a include lack of data interoperability with legacy systems (33%) as well as budgetary constraints (30%).

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