Welcome to our final newsletter for 2023! I have no doubt everyone is counting down to a well-deserved break. I am certainly looking forward to some relaxation time with family and friends.

We are proud to say that we have gained significant momentum during the past year in the DHCRC’s activities. Last month we released our Annual Report showcasing our projects and increasing industry engagement. In FY2022/23, we signed 13 project agreements and initiated 3 project extensions with a net value of ~$10.5m cash and ~$11.3m in-kind. Beyond the numbers, we have continued to deepen our partnerships with universities, government and industry. We’ve initiated research and development projects that will have significant impact across the health and aged care ecosystems, as well as growing our group of emerging leaders who will be the future leaders in digital health in Australia.

Strengthening relationships with the Australian digital health technology sector has been a very pleasing outcome of this year. At the start of this month, we had the opportunity to host a Roundtable with the Productivity Commission and several of our DHCRC technology and healthcare partners, that included Telstra Health, Alcidion, Five Faces, Harrison ai, Propel AI, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Metluma, and SiSU.

Healthcare costs are expected to account for an increasing share of government expenditure in the decades ahead. A Productivity Commission Report, Advancing Prosperity, was released earlier this year that addressed the need for improving productivity across a number of sectors including healthcare, with a particular focus on digital health transformation. The Productivity Commission are currently updating this Report. The Roundtable enabled our digital health participants to provide feedback on how digital health technology can improve healthcare delivery and better understand its impact on improving health outcomes and driving innovation, ultimately improving productivity. This Roundtable was also an opportunity to discuss the barriers, and challenges to growing Australia’s digital health technology sector. We look forward to seeing the recommendations from this Report when it is released in the New Year.

The emergence of AI and its potential impact on healthcare, and broader society, is one of the biggest changes we have seen this year, particularly around the use of generative AI and ChatGPT. The DHCRC was pleased to participate in The Australian Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAAiH) which earlier this month launched a Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare for Australia. The roadmap offers sixteen (16) recommendations across five priority areas: AI Safety, Quality, Ethics and Security; Workforce; Consumer; Industry; and Research. AI is already having a profound impact on the delivery of healthcare, and we hope this roadmap will provide a framework to help position Australia as a world-leading AI-enabled healthcare system.

While for much of this year it felt like the COVID-19 pandemic was finally behind us, the recent surge in cases is a stark reminder that it will likely remain an endemic for years to come. That is why it is important to ensure we reflect and learn the lessons from this challenging time. Earlier this year, I was pleased to be involved in a report which was released this month by the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (QAAS) “Voices from the Pandemic. What lessons have we learnt and how should we manage the next pandemic?”. The report brought together insights from across all sectors to ensure the management and preparation for the next pandemic or natural disaster.

Last month, we attended and sponsored the National Innovation Policy Forum, hosted by Cooperative Research Australia in the Grand Hall at Parliament House. It was pleasing to see the Hon Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science, officially announce the $392 million Industry Growth Program to help start-ups and small businesses commercialise and grow their business. It is welcomed support for those small to medium businesses looking to grow and scale who, according to a new report from Industry Innovation and Science Australia launched at the same event, face significant barriers to commercialise innovative ideas in Australia – more on this event is included below.


Last month also saw our much-awaited inaugural Curiosity Camp launch in Canberra under the leadership of Dr Mel Haines. I had the opportunity to spend a few days with more than 50 emerging leaders and experts brought together to discuss, debate, ideate, and challenge the prevailing models of how we deliver healthcare. Be sure to be sure to check out all the action from this inaugural Curiosity Camp below. It was inspiring to see the energy, enthusiasm, and talent of the next generation of healthcare leaders. We are hopeful this will become an annual event.

Finally, a very special thank you to our participants, partners, and supporters, for your continuing support. To our Board and our hard-working and talented Team, thank you for your efforts and contributions over the year. I wish everyone a very safe and joyous festive season and I look forward to reconnecting in 2024.

Warm regards,
Annette Schmiede


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