3 New Models Of Healthcare: The Pressures Of Going Digital

Simon Grace

We all know the Australian Health Landscape is changing. We have a rapidly growing aging population, causing a strain on the health system to manage the myriad of chronic illnesses that come with longevity. The pressure on the federal and state budgets, the shortage of skills to deliver care, and the Australian government’s latest commitment to digital health will trigger an explosion of new models of healthcare. For instance:

  1. E-pharmacy: The Pharmacy Guild and the Australian Digital health Agency are working together to connect consumer pharmacy interactions with the MyHealthRecord. This will have a huge benefit on the quality and safety of treatment delivered across the health value chain. Pilots will begin in the Nepean Blue Mountains and the Northern Queensland Primary Health Networks.
  1. Healthcare home: The Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PCHAG) has begun trials of the U.S. Patient-Centred Medical Home model of care. In this model, funding is structured to reflect the growing concerns over chronic illness management. Patients will have a dedicated general practitioner (GP) to coordinate their care across a variety of specialists in a care team. This will open up new paradigms for holistic care.
  1. Telehealth: Telehealth medicine – online GP services and remote health monitoring – across Australia and New Zealand is set to grow at 43.5% from 2015-2019. Organizations from state healthcare bodies to aged care providers to insurance organizations have already started growing in this area. For instance, SAP has supported Medibank in establishing its massive telehealth business, servicing millions of people across Australia.

Healthcare providers should be aware of the change that the industry is about to experience, and accordingly plan how they will remain relevant. For instance, when the government decides to decrease restrictions on Medicare subsidies for telehealth consultations and remove specific paper-supporting regulations for pharmacies, the growth of in-store pharmacy retailing and private GP clinics will fall, and the growth of online consultation-pharmacies (let’s call them “e-co-pharms”) will explode, especially when Amazon pushes online pharmacy in Australia (See Article 1 & Article 2).

SAP’s Global General Manager of Healthcare, Martin Kopp, will be meeting with various organizations across Australia in early September to discuss the future of the industry. SAP’s commitment to healthcare has given us experience from over 7,900 customers in the industry, including seven of the top 10 hospitals in the world. This network has all given SAP access to the latest technologies, processes, and business models in healthcare, such as the ‘Uber-ization‘ of care. By extension, our customers also have access to this network as well.


Simon Grace

About Simon Grace

Simon Grace brings both consulting and social entrepreneurship experience from various countries across the Asia-Pacific region. As a member of the SAP industry value engineering team, Simon helps organisations within healthcare, aged care, and medical research move forward on their digital road map – from modernising and digitising operations to creating competitive business models accessible through new technologies.