PCEHR future, e-Patient Dave and YouTube wunderkind at HIC

A panel session hosted by Q&A's Tony Jones on investing in eHealth and a workshop on the PCEHR are two drawcards at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC 2014), being held in Melbourne in August, along with a US teenager who has developed a new method of cancer detection and patient advocates e-Patient Dave and Regina Holliday.

A program for the conference has been released by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) for the three-day conference, which will be preceded by four one-day satellite conferences, including the regular Digital Healthcare Design, Nursing Informatics and Indigenous Informatics conferences, as well as a new Participatory Health conference.

This new conference will feature patient advocate Dave deBronkart, better known as e-Patient Dave, who will discuss how engaged patients are changing healthcare. A session on active and independent ageing will also be held to discuss how to use ubiquitously connected technology to engage patients in healthy behaviours and will feature former Tasmanian premier David Bartlett, who had a career in IT and was CIO of the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services before entering politics.

e-Patient Dave will also address the main HIC conference in tandem with Danny Sands, co-founder of the US Society of Participatory Medicine. They will discuss the power of 'e' in the patient-physician relationship.

Another patient advocate for improved health technology speaking at the conference is Regina Holliday, who made a big impression in her keynote speech at the 2012 HIC conference. She will address HIC 2014 on the second day, along with Stephen Damiani, a Melbourne-based risk management specialist who has set up a foundation to raise funds to investigate rare genetic disorders called the Mission Massimo Foundation, named after a young son who has a form of genetic leukoencephalopathy.

Mr Damiani was the driving force behind gathering a team of geneticists, including Ryan Taft from the University of Queensland, and helped by genome sequencing manufacturer Illumina, that discovered that a mutation in the DARS gene caused Massimo's condition. The foundation now raises funds for genomic diagnostics, gene therapies and stem cell research.

Budding US scientist Jack Andraka will also speak on the second day. Still in high school in the US, Jack won a $75,000 award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2012 for inventing a prototype dipstick-like rapid diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer. He has since given several TED talks, gone viral on YouTube in a video showing his ecstatic reaction to the Intel win, and will discuss innovation and open data at HIC.

He will be accompanied by Hungarian medical futurist Bertalan Mesko, who will present on the digital future of medicine. The duo will then conduct a Q&A session.

A PCEHR consultation workshop will be held on the final day, along with academic streams on eHealth informatics, aged care, realising the benefits of eHealth, and eSafety, featuring the Canadian Health Informatics Association's Don Newsham and the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics' Dean Sittig, who will also provide a keynote address on eSafety.

The always-popular Q&A panel hosted by Tony Jones will include Department of Health CIO Paul Madden and HISA board member Michael Gill.

The conference will also be addressed by Victorian Health Minister David Davis and federal Minister for Human Services, Marise Payne.

HISA CEO Louise Schaper said the selected international and Australian keynote speakers would set a high benchmark for leadership in innovation.

"Innovation and invention is a theme at every level; it shows the level of energy among HISA members and meets the appetite the health community has for change,” Dr Schaper said.

"To make information sharing easier, for the first time exhibitors will have a newly branded Innovation Expo space where delegates can study, browse and see the future of eHealth for themselves.”

The annual Aged Care Informatics conference will be held on the second day and will be addressed by Alzheimer’s Australia's Tanya Petrovich on the topic of gaming technology. Paul Fish from continence management company Simavita, which markets a range of “electronic underpants”, will also feature.

Early bird registrations for HIC 2014 close on Monday, June 16. The event will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from August 11 to 14.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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