Please tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Dr Lisa Kouladjian O’Donnell and I’m a research fellow in geriatric pharmacotherapy, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Ageing, Kolling Institute, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney. I’m trained and practice as a consultant pharmacist and my emerging expertise involves developing digital tools to allow clinicians to tackle inappropriate polypharmacy and deprescribing for their older patients.
How do you define digital health?
I define digital health as any form of digital interface, whether it be a simple text message to a complex decision support system, that aims to improve health and wellbeing of patients and their care givers.
What do you think will enable digital health projects and innovations to succeed?
I see success of digital health projects in two aspects: i) implementation into clinical practice – If people are knocking your door down to access the digital tool you’ve created to improve their clinical practice, then you’ve succeeded, and ii) if the patients are improving their health, then you’ve succeeded.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing digital health at the moment?
I think accessibility is still an issue. There are patients in developing countries that would highly benefit from digital health technologies, but they are still inaccessible. Another challenge is funding for early career researcher’s (ECRs) for digital health projects.
Do you have any interesting resources or helpful networks people should know about?
The Australian Deprescribing Network (https://www.australiandeprescribingnetwork.com.au/), the SHP Geriatric Medicine Clinical Academic Group (https://sydneyhealthpartners.org.au/collaborative-networks/), The Australian Association of Gerontology Student and Early Career Group (https://www.aag.asn.au/about-us/student-and-early-career-group-secg), The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Digital Health Guidelines for Pharmacists (https://www.psa.org.au/resource/digital-health-guidelines-for-pharmacists/).