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Digital Health Week 2023 | 7th-9th February, 2023
In 2023, we will again be bringing you a joint event between the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is joining us!
Digital Health Week is an opportunity for anyone interested in digital health to participate in a program of virtual events and share research and ideas. It is designed to be both informative, provocative, and a showcase of the innovative work being undertaken in digital health across the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, UNSW, and beyond. Digital Health Week 2023 will bring together researchers, health services, industry, and the community to build person-centred eHealth collaborations.
“Hope not hype”
Our ongoing vision for the Digital Health Week events is to have diverse speakers who challenge us and spark discussions that can help us all to create and use technology in ways that promote more inclusive healthcare and wellbeing.
This year’s theme will have a focus on exploring several concepts centred around hope for a better future:
Harnessing the disruption – what have we learnt from recent rapid changes, challenges, and chaos that can be used to improve digital health systems and outcomes?
Inclusive and collaborative – how can we nurture value-based, person-centred, and connected digital health care, ensuring living experience voices guide digital health initiatives?
Functional, ethical, and sustainable – how do we build diverse, considered, and ethical technologies that work and are equitable, now and into the future?
1 March 2023
Summary of #DigitalHealthWeek23
We were generously Welcomed to Gadigal Lands of the Eora Nation by Uncle Michael West of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, who also acknowledged the Indigenous peoples of the lands on which #DigitalHealthWeek23 delegates joined us from virtually from across the country and the world! Uncle Michael reminded us that it’s all about community and the individuals that make up our communities, we took time to reflect on what that meant to us and he also encouraged us all to be truthful in our conversations moving forward. #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe
“People have names, they’re not just numbers”
Uncle Michael West, MLALC
We were honoured to have Prof Adam Dunn, DHIN Lead open Digital Health Week 2023 with warm messages of support for the event, urging us all to use the conference as an opportunity to create new relationships and foster future collaborations so that we can work together to create sustainable change with better outcomes for our communities. Adam highlighted the rapid growth of digital health research in Australia in recent years and felt that:
“it’s critical to have digital health research involved in real-world applications in the community”
Professor Adam Dunn, The University of Sydney
Dr Liss Brunner, Conference Chair and Dr Louise Thornton, Deputy Chair from the University of Sydney added their welcome to the event.
The recognition of community being integral to the success or failure of digital health initiatives was a common theme through all the morning’s welcomes. The collaboration between the University of Melbourne, UNSW, and the University of Sydney to create this event exemplifies the spirit of bringing together networks of researchers and community members to ideate and implement the best tech-based advances for our communities.
Today we heard from the first of our abstract session presenters in 3 concurrent session streams and were able to explore some of their research in more detail across the themes of:
A big thank you to our session chairs, presenters, and all who participated!
A major highlight of the day was an insightful keynote presentation by Associate Professor Rashina Hoda from Monash University on “Digital Health through a Socio-Technical Lens”. Rashina gave us a quick summary of Socio-Technical Grounded Theory and highlighted 4 key takeaways messages:
- Digital health is a complex, interdisciplinary socio-technical domain
- Designing a good digital health solution requires understanding and designing for the underlying socio-technical aspects
- Apply Socio-Technical Grounded Theory (STGT) to unravel and understand the socio-technical aspects
- An interdisciplinary team with tech and health experts is key.
Rashina talked us through the ‘Digital Health Iceberg’ and how many socio-technical aspects can be hidden or deeper under the surface than we anticipate and that it is essential to listen carefully to users and stakeholders to capture all of these elements. We would encourage everyone to take the knowledge and key messages shared with us on board, particularly around the ideas of building sustainable and inclusive co-creation of digital solutions moving forward – where interdisciplinary teams with a variety of expertise (inclusive of people with living experience and community members) are valued partners in the conceptualisation and implementation of digital health research initiatives. You can read more about STGT in Rashina’s recent article or their website (www.rashina.com/stgt). This panel session was recorded and will be made available for attendees to watch following the event.
Following the keynote session, we held our first in-person networking event for the week at The University of Sydney. After many years of being completely online, it was so lovely to see people in person, to meet new people, and chat all things digital health! We ran a networking bingo session and there were lots of conversations covering a range of topics but also included who hates coffee, uses ChatGPT, could define digital health, or was not from Sydney! We really enjoyed connecting with everyone this afternoon and hope those who were able to attend met some new connections and enjoyed being able to spend time together in the same room.
This morning we were generously Welcomed to Bedegal and Gadigal Lands of the Eora Nation by Aunty Maxine Ryan, a Dharawal woman from the La Perouse Community of Botany Bay who reflected on the fact that “we come from the land, this land is beautiful, and on this land, we are still surviving”. Aunty Maxine reminded us that we need to look after the land and look after one another. #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe
“We must come together as one and respect each other’s cultures, and respect each other how we are”
Aunty Maxine Ryan
With Dr David Tsai from UNSW chairing the welcome today, we were honoured to have Prof Nigel Lovell, Director of TyreeIHealthE openDay 2 ofDigital Health Week 2023 with warm messages of support for the event.
Today we heard from 21 of our fantastic ePoster presenters and were able to explore some of their research in more detail across the themes of:
- Co-design, development, and testing of eHealth interventions,
- Health literacy and data science,
- Integration into care, and
- Commercialisation and social media.
A big thank you to our session chairs, presenters, and all who participated!
Today’s keynote and panel session ‘AI: hope vs hype’, chaired by Dr Peter Brown, made some interesting comparisons of how AI is used in healthcare and other industries. The session started with a keynote from Professor Farah Magrabi, followed by a panel discussion between Professor Farah Magrabi, Associate Professor Beena Ahmed, and Professor Kim Delbaere, and moderated by Dr Ian Goon. You can read more about today’s speakers here on our website https://dhin.net.au/program-and-speakers-digitalhealthweek2023/ (and scroll down).
Professor Magrabi shared with us a definition of artificial intelligence (AI), current challenges, and the potential for AI in clinical settings – whether that be for question answering (from both clinicians and consumers), to transform clinical decision making, to assist human decisions, or to make decisions in clinical settings.
“AI won’t replace clinicians – but clinicians who use AI may replace those who do not”
Professor Farah Magrabi, Macquarie University
Farah also offered some tips on what we can do to avoid climate disaster, including educating ourselves, reducing wasteful use of technology, and embedding climate resilience into design (you can read more here).
The panel discussion made it clear that there is potential for AI to support consumer-centric and preventative practice in healthcare to meet the diverse needs of our communities, rather than the current windowed and reactive systems we use. However, there a many challenges yet to overcome including clinicians and consumers being more aware of what technology is telling them and making sure we harness learning from experience so that we don’t make the same mistakes again and again – we need to be clear on the use of technology so that we minimise waste and fill the actual need with all human factors addressed.
“We need to develop solutions that work for everyone”
Associate Professor Beena Ahmed, UNSW
“There’s lots of scope but still lots of challenges to have it done in an evidence-based manner”
Professor Kim Delbaere, NeuRA UNSW
The keynote and panel session was followed by our second in-person networking session, this time hosted at UNSW! It was yet another great opportunity to give people a chance to have informal discussions about digital health and meet fellow researchers.
At 8pm, #DigitalHealthWeek23 hosted a Twitter chat where people responded to a number of thought provoking questions related to the future of digital health. Below are a few highlights from the discussions, but you can still read over the discussion on twitter (Search in Twitter using the hashtag #DigitalHealthWeek23 or use the links below).
What digital health technology that exists now gets you most excited?
It’s 2023, what digital health technology did you expect to be widespread by now, that isn’t?
What’s your prediction for how digital health technologies will have changes by 2020?
This morning we were generously Welcomed to Wurundjeri Country of the Kulin Nation by Aunty Diane Kerr, who shared with us that “health and wellbeing is my passion, it’s an exciting era” – we”. Aunty Diane reminded us that when we look after one another, we can live in harmony and work towards eradicating racism. #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe
“We need to take care of each other and walk together … then we can live in harmony and we can walk our streets without fear of any harm”
Aunty Diane Kerr
With Meg Perrier from the University of Melbourne chairing the welcome today, we were honoured to have Professor Uwe Aickelin, University of Melbourne open Day 3 ofDigital Health Week 2023 with warm messages of support for the event, urging us all to use the conference as an opportunity to consciously create and design digital health technologies.
“When we are designing technology, it needs to be considered, ethically valid, and equitable”
Professor Uwe Aickelin, The University of Melbourne
This morning we started the day with our second abstract session presenters in 3 concurrent session streams and were able to explore some of their research in more detail across the themes of:
- Lived experience and codesign,
- Assessment, interventions, and AI,
- The Covid effect.
A big thank you to our session chairs, presenters, and all who participated!
At lunchtime we held our third in-person networking session, this time hosted at the University of Melbourne! It was our final opportunity during the event to give people a chance to have informal discussions about digital health and meet fellow researchers.
This afternoon we held our final keynote and panel session of the week, ‘At the table, or on the menu? On disability access, inclusion, and other such buzzwords’. The session was chaired by Associate Professor Zerina Tomkins, and started with a keynote from Gillian Mason and was followed by a panel discussion between Gillain, Jen Morris, Professor Kathleen Gray, and Associate Professor Rashina Hoda, moderated by Dr Mahima Kalla. You can read more about today’s speakers here on our website https://dhin.net.au/program-and-speakers-digitalhealthweek2023/ (and scroll down).
Gillian generously shared with us their experiences of being ‘invited to the table’ as a queer person living with disability and chronic illness and coming to terms with their right to be in the disability space – also sharing the voices of others in the disability space, such as Carly Findlay and Mia Mingus, to illustrate how can often take people a lot of time and effort to overcome marginalisation (both internal and external).
“recognising that there was value in bringing lived experience to the table has been liberating for me”
Gillian urged us be clear about why we invite people with lived experience to work with you – as Gillian has often been asked to be involved once everything has been decided. Gillian also encouraged us to explore and reflect on the social model of disability and beyond – to a disability justice perspective, which “embraces difference, confronts privilege, and challenges what is considered ‘normal’ on every front” (quote from Mia Mingus).
The ensuing panel discussion further explored these concepts in the context of digital health – from noting how the oft inaccuracy of information in medical records can make the thought of “technology scary if we’re just spreading rubbish around even more” (Jen Morris), to reflecting on “how we can bank on people’s assets and what they bring to the table?” (Dr Mahima Kalla). It was clear that a strengths-based reflexive approach was needed, to comprehensively explore the complexity of issues from a socio-technical perspective, and to break the usual assumption-based frameworks in healthcare systems. Digital health research needs to be inclusive of the people it aims to support, with Associate Professor Zerina Tomkins concluding the session by urging us all to question our own positioning in this space and to actively think about how we can be more inclusive and accommodating in our practice – so that the inclusion is not tokenistic but genuine and authentic.
“It’s important to digitalise health to improve care, not just digitalise it with the same problems”
“We need to understand the issues from both a social and technological perspective before we start thinking about possible solutions”
Associate Professor Rashina Hoda, Monash University
“We deserve strong evidence … the systems and tools we use need to have evidence they work and that they do no harm”
Professor Kathleen Gray, University of Melbourne
Following this afternoon’s keynote and panel session was the closing ceremony and we awarded the #DigitalHealthWeek23 prizes – CONGRATULATIONS to all!
- People’s Choice Award – Imon Chakraborty, University of Queensland. ePoster title: Digital health startups in the time of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Influencer Award – Kimberley Chew, Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre / Monash University, @Kimberly_A_Chew. ePoster title: “I desperately need to know what to do.” Addressing cyberscams in acquired brain injury (ABI): A qualitative exploration of the experiences and approaches of Australian clinicians and service providers.
- Judges Award – Dr Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney, @JacquesRauben. ePoster title: Evaluating single-sample Google Trends research studies: What’s hype and what’s not.
Abstract session presentation prizes
- Emerging Researcher Prize Day 1 – Dan Shaw, SESLHD, @TheDanShaw. Presentation title: Getting off the Universal Serial Bus (USB) – An innovative Approach to Nursing and Midwifery Recruitment.
- Emerging Researcher Prize Day 3 – Fiona Hargraves, Western Sydney University, @fionahargraves1. Presentation title: The effect of an active virtual reality gaming intervention on physical activity and mood in young men with mild to moderate depression; a randomised controlled feasibility trial to improve physical and mental wellbeing during Covid-19.
- Best Presentation Digital Health Week 2023 – Dr Amanda Adams, Flinders University, @SquizzyGeek. Presentation title: Optimising app interface design for an under-served workforce – How co-designing with home careworkers has shaped a resource to support end-of-life care.
Door Prizes – Winners of Digital Health Festival 2023 Tickets
- Yang Li, Philippa Evans, Dr Pritaporn Kingkaew, Dr Snow Li
- Prof. Melissa Baysari (University of Sydney – $50 Booktopia voucher)
- Katy (University of Melbourne – Apple AirTag)
- Katie (University of Melbourne – Apple AirTag)
- Brandon (University of Melbourne – Apple AirTag).
This was the 3rd time the University of Sydney joined forces with The University of Melbourne, and the 1st time UNSW joined us to host Digital Health Week. The 3 day event saw vibrant exchanges of ideas, conversations, debates, the usual tech glitches and wins, new connections and potential collaborations. We are really looking forward to hearing our collective future ideas to progress digital solutions in health so that we can work towards making technology work better in real life.
6 February 2023
#DigitalHealthWeek23 starts tomorrow!
Digital Health Week 2023 officially kicks off tomorrow at the 10am Welcome Session! We hope you are able to make it and will also join the abstract and keynote sessions that follow. If you have registered to attend and are having any issues with registration or accessing zoom links for #DigitalHealthWeek2023 sessions, please email email@example.com.
Digital Health Week 2023 is a collaboration between the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, and UNSW. The Conference Committee is incredibly grateful for the support of Professor Robyn Ward AM (Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney), Professor Uwe Aickelin (Head of School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne), and Professor Nigel Lovell (Head of School, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, and Director, Tyree IHealthE, UNSW).
Professor Ward, Professor Aickelin, and Professor Lovell have each recorded a special welcome message to all attending Digital Health Week 2023.
Professor Ward, The University of Sydney
Professor Aickelin, The University of Melbourne
Professor Lovell, Tyree IHealthE UNSW
Please visit the ePoster Gallery to view the innovative work in digital health submitted by the ePoster authors. There is still time to vote for your favourite!
14 December 2022
Registrations for #DigitalHealthWeek23 are now open!
Read about the line-up of sessions and speakers in the provisional event program here: https://dhin.net.au/program-and-speakers-digitalhealthweek2023/
7 October 2022
#DigitalHealthWeek23 abstract submissions are now closed.
26 August 2022
#DigitalHealthWeek23 abstract submissions are now open!
Abstracts are invited from researchers in the field of digital health, including (but not limited to) the following research topics (presented in alphabetical order):
- Codesign and consumer-centred technologies
- Data science
- eHealth education
- Equity, equality, and the digital divide
- Ethics and law in digital health
- Games and gamification for health
- Learning health systems
- Lived experience
- Mobile applications and wearable technologies
- Optimisation and implementation of technological systems
- Social media and social networking sites
- Technology and the health workforce
- Telehealth and telepractice
- Virtual and augmented reality
Presenters can nominate their preference for an ePoster or presentation format, with both formats providing presenters a speaking opportunity to share their work.
The conference is keen to showcase Honours and Higher Degree Research Students to highlight their research – so if you are a research student, please indicate this on the submission form.
Submissions will be open from 26th August 2023 and will close on the 7th of October 2022.
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We hope that we will see you at this exciting digital health event in February 2023!