Digital health represents a paradigm shift and the implications for healthcare are profound, according to a whitepaper released today by HISA and the Digital Health Workforce Academy.
The whitepaper What is digital health and why does it matter? was written by HISA Board Member David Rowlands, who authored the Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) Program handbook and numerous other digital health publications.
“This whitepaper is provided to outline a viewpoint and its implications. The viewpoint is that digital health is not just new jargon for ‘e-health’ or ‘health IT’, but represents a paradigm shift,” David Rowlands said.
“The implications are profound. If health’s decision-makers do not see the difference, they may miss the opportunities associated with digital health, and run aground on its challenges.” He said he expected the whitepaper to promote and provoke discussion about the nature of digital health.
HISA CEO Dr Louise Schaper said HISA was pleased to endorse the whitepaper.
“In recognition of the importance of ‘digital health’ to the future of our health system and for health, HISA changed its tagline in 2014 to ‘Australia’s Digital Health Community’. “We see digital health as being a distinct and important evolutionary step in how healthcare functions and even as to how healthcare itself is defined. It is the digital health era which will bring about a time where digital is so embedded in health that we can go back to calling it simply ‘healthcare’.”
She says health informaticians and a health workforce skilled in health informatics and digital health will be critical to enabling this future.
“This paper is to support all those individuals who make up Australia’s digital health community and who are, together, delivering the future of health,” she said.
The whitepaper and accompanying infographic are available for free download.