ATHS - This Week in Telehealth #61 - 13 April 2017
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In this issue of "This Week in Telehealth" we are pleased to announce the second Keynote speaker - Tim Kelsey for the Success and Failures in Telehealth 2017 conference.  Responsible for the Australian Digital Health Agency, Tim will bring the latest knowledge in health and care.  

Diabetes is a significant problem amongst 
Indigenious people.  In this issue
we introduce Dr Sumudu Wickramasinghe and the wonderful work he is doing in understanding the barriers associated with the provision of telediabetes services.  

The University of Queensland is conducting an Australia-wide review of the use of telehealth in
orthopaedic services.  They are seeking participants for this study.  Read more about the study in this issue.

The Australian College of Nursing is seeking feedback from their members to affirm the role of nurses in digital healthcare.  Details of how you can provide feedback 
provided in this issue.  

Wishing you a happy Easter and hope you enjoy reading about what's happening in Telehealth.  


SFT Keynote - ADHA Chief Executive Tim Kelsey

Tim Kelsey is Chief Executive of the Australian Digital Health Agency which is responsible for all national digital health services and systems, with a focus on engagement, innovation and clinical quality and safety.


He was formerly National Director for Patients and Information in NHS England – a role which combined the functions of chief technology and information officer with responsibility for patient and public participation. He took up the post in 2012 after serving as the British government's first Executive Director of Transparency and Open Data.


He was also National Information Director for health and care in England and Chair of the National Information Board which advises the Secretary of State on national priorities for data and technology.


Tim is a leading advocate of a popular knowledge revolution in health and care and, in 2000, was co-founder of Dr Foster, a company which pioneered publication of patient outcomes in healthcare.


He is also an internationally regarded expert in digital transformation of the customer experience in healthcare. In 2007, he launched NHS Choices, the national online health information service ( which now reports around 40 million users per month. In 2014 Tim was named one of the 500 most influential people in the UK by The Sunday Times.


Before Dr Foster, Tim was a national newspaper journalist and a television reporter. He worked for the Independent and the Sunday Times, as well as Channel 4 and the BBC.


He is co-author with Roger Taylor of Transparency and the Open Society which was published by Policy Press and the University of Chicago in 2016.


Tim is visiting professor in the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London.



The next SFT conference will be held in Brisbane on 30-31 October 2017.  This conference will also serve as the 8th Annual Meeting of the Australasian Telehealth Society. Web:
Tele-diabetes for Indigenous communities
Diabetes is recognised as a significant problem amongst Indigenous people living in rural and remote Indigenous communities. The distances and the lack of rural specialists make it challenging to provide equitable access to specialist health care.  The use of telehealth is a novel approach in delivering health care to Indigenous communities in remote areas. It promises greater accessibility and reduced costs to both the patient and the public health service.
PhD student from the University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health – Dr Sumudu Wickramasinghe is exploring the use of telehealth for Indigenous patients living with diabetes in regional Queensland.  His preliminary work has identified important barriers and enablers associated with the provision of telediabetes services; and early indications demonstrate that the experience of people receiving telehealth services is quite positive.  
This research program will help inform our understanding of how telehealth can be best used in the context of delivering specialist care in Indigenous communities, alongside local health services.
Dr Sumudu Wickramasinghe

Useful references:
Wickramasinghe SI, Caffery LJ, Bradford NK, Smith AC. (2016) Enablers and barriers in providing telediabetes services for Indigenous communities: A systematic review. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 22(8):465-71.
Caffery, L. J., Bradford, N. K., Wickramasinghe, S. I., Hayman, N. and Smith, A. C. (2017), Outcomes of using telehealth for the provision of healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: a systematic review. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41: 48–53.

Request for study participants


The Centre for Online Health at The University of Queensland is conducting an Australia-wide review of the use of telehealth in orthopaedic services. Our aim is to summarise what telehealth models of service exist for this specialty and how they function.

We are seeking participants (Medical, Nursing, Allied Health, Administration) who deliver telehealth services in orthopaedics.  Our plan is to contact participants for a brief phone interview – to discuss how their service operates. 

We hope through this descriptive case-series we will be able to assist regions who have not adopted telehealth for orthopaedics develop new service models, increasing access to care.

We have ethical approval from UQ’s Human Research Ethics Committee, and participants can always choose if their service/comments remain anonymous.

If you have any contacts associated with tele-orthopaedics, could you please forward their contact details to:

Associate Professor Anthony Smith 
Centre for Health Services Research
Faculty of Medicine
T:  +61 7 3176 1685

within the next couple of weeks.  Thanks very much.

Associate Professor Anthony Smith


Consultation underway on nursing informatics paper


The Australian College of Nursing (ACN), HISA and Nursing Informatics Australia (NIA) are collaborating on a position paper to affirm the role of nurses in digital healthcare at all levels and in all health settings.

The draft position paper makes a call to action for nurses to obtain the informatics capability and prowess to lead digital health reform.

It aims to strengthen the ability of our digital health care systems and nursing workforce to take ownership and lead with influence the future of healthcare delivery.

Feedback and input is now being sought from members, the nursing informatics workforce, clinicians and organisations.

HISA CEO Dr Louise Schaper said: “Nurses have a unique leadership role to ensure a digitally enabled health system delivers on the promise of better health outcomes for Australians.

“All nurses must integrate information and information technology into routine clinical practice.

“They must re-imagine the delivery of health care assisted by technology, in partnership with a more engaged patient and, with greater access to information at the point of care.

“A position statement that would affirm the important role of nurses, at all levels and in all health settings, is long overdue.”

The open consultation period ends  Monday 18 April 2017.

You will find links to the position statement below and the feedback survey tool – one for individuals and one for organisations.

Please note this is a draft with further revisions leading to a widely supported professional position on nursing informatics.

Have your say!




Copyright © 2017 Australasian Telehealth Society, All rights reserved.

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