Following a two-year hiatus, the Australian British Health Catalyst (ABHC) recently returned to London for another year of networking and knowledge sharing.

Hosted by the Australian British Chamber of Commerce at the Royal College of Physicians in late June, the ABHC serves to further strengthen ties between healthcare professionals across Australia and the UK. The three-day conference examines leading healthcare practice, experiential learning, and helps build valuable networks.

Featuring a stellar line-up of Australian and British healthcare leaders including both our CEO, Annette Schmiede and Chief Innovation Officer, Dr Stefan Harrer, the conference was packed to the brim with must-see speakers.

Stefan presented on the encompassing roles of artificial intelligence and digital health data, and how we can use them to inform decision making in healthcare settings. While Annette joined Hassan Chaudhury from DATA-CAN: The Health Data Research Hub for Cancer and Rosie Hicks from Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) to discuss the need to accelerate digital health research translation and implementation.

Annette attended across the three days and said that while there were many recurring themes that kept cropping up, including cybersecurity concerns and issues regarding interoperability, the need to promote an integrated, value-based model of healthcare was front and centre.

“All healthcare systems in the Global North are dealing with similar issues. The key challenge being, how do we deliver superior quality, sustainable health services by better connecting across all care settings. Digital technology is key to linking clinical data across different levels of care, including primary, acute, community and aged care,” said Annette.

Researchers and healthcare professionals from both countries stressed the importance of making smart use of data. If we are serious about making integrated care a reality, we must harness the power of data.

“The Catalyst program provided many examples and opportunities to learn from both countries. Australia’s pandemic response stood out from a UK perspective, as well as our vaccination mobilisation. The regulation of wearable devices is also receiving considerable attention in both countries, with Australia chairing the global collaboration to ensure coordination of standards,” explained Annette. 

Stefan commented on the recurring themes from pandemic-induced changes observed in both UK and Australian health services. 

“We were involved in many discussions about the transformational role of data and artificial intelligence in the digitisation of healthcare, clinical workforce management, and the exciting entrepreneurial activity in the digital health sector that increasingly spans both from AU to the UK and vice versa,” he said. 

“The ABHC was an invaluable opportunity for thought leaders, decision makers, influencers, and experts across the entire healthcare ecosystem from both countries to exchange notes and to assess and brainstorm action plans for learning from each other and joining forces to reshape the future of health.” 

Having healthcare leaders from across both countries came together with innovators, research experts, and academics to discuss healthcare issues and drive innovative improvements is what this event is all about. Collaboration and knowledge sharing at it is best.  

Well done to the Australian British Chamber of Commerce, we look forward to attending again in 2023.  

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