Top three learnings from AIDH And impacts on pharmaceutical brand marketing

Pulse Issue 7 2022

"Top three learnings from AIDH And impacts on pharmaceutical brand marketing"

More than 1,000 delegates attended the recent Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH) Digital Health Summit at the Sydney International Convention Centre – and Bastion Brands Executive Director and Head of Digital Dan King had a front row seat!

The AIDH, which is comprised of Australia’s leading organisations in health informatics and digital health, aims to support the development of a connected health system, and a digitally competent health workforce.

Though it primarily works to build digital capacity in the hospital workforce, the AIDH also focuses on improving patient experience. This was evident in some of the topics covered at the Digital Health Summit, which included system interoperability, access to healthcare, health literacy, health equity, data, engagement, system optimisation and digital innovation.

Dan’s goal was to gain insights into the latest thinking on digital health solutions and determine how they could be leveraged to help our clients advance digitally.

Here are some of Dan’s key observations and take-outs.

1. The rise of mobile applications

Numerous mobile applications to improve patient adherence and engagement were showcased. These included:

– Hospital patient food ordering apps to reduce waste, improve caloric intake and hasten recover

– Diary tracking apps like CSIRO’s M♡THer app, which helps clinicians support expectant mothers with gestational diabetes

– UpBeat, an app to support teens with heart conditions struggling to transition from paediatric to adult care

Dan’s personal favourite was SAMSON, a patient-centred app designed to enhance medication adherence for patients undergoing cancer treatment. Complex treatment regimens can lead to medication errors and low adherence rates – but technology can provide effective and efficient interventions. When tested with patients with haematological cancers, SAMSON was able to improve therapeutic persuasiveness and improve adherence.

2. The healthcare services delivery ecosystem is rapidly changing

The changing location and nature of healthcare services delivery was another important theme at AIDH.

Nurse educators from RPA Virtual discussed how they built a virtual hospital services business from the ground up. Key considerations in this process were SOPs, safety protocols and 24/7 service delivery in a virtual setting, as well as being agile and adaptable in the changing digital healthcare landscape. Now almost two years old, RPA Virtual has 40+ nursing staff delivering virtual services as a sustainable way of meeting the demand for healthcare services in Sydney.

3. Workforce and skills gaps – with solutions from Year 10 students!

A panel discussion addressed the workforce and skills gaps in the digital health space, with key contributors being two Year 10 Students from Loreto Normanhurst, a girls’ school in Sydney.

These young women discussed ideas they had worked on at school for making digital healthcare more accessible. They suggested wider access to devices in public and remote areas may improve healthcare equity in underserved parts of Australia. In doing so, this may help prevent and treat illness, improve health literacy, and improve the quality of health and life for Australians.

This was a prudent reminder that they (and we!) need to be healthcare’s forward thinkers, and that it’s up to us to shape the future of digital healthcare in Australia.

So – what next?

The great examples of digital healthcare covered at the AIDH Digital Summit kept Dan inspired and optimistic.

“There is such a tremendous opportunity to enhance and improve healthcare through digital solutions,” he said.

As the digital healthcare system advances, it’s important to reflect on the digital healthcare opportunities that can be applied to the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. The makers of medicines and devices can advance their digital health offerings by improving engagement with clinicians, supporting patients, and making them more accessible and equitable.

With the right people and partnerships, great opportunities can be unlocked. At Bastion Brands, we encourage clients to plan for both ‘what’s now’, but importantly, also ‘what’s next’. Be bold and be brave, because at least part of the future of healthcare will be digital, and the time to advance is now.

 Dan King
M: 0439 190 700


We are always interested in hearing from great people dedicated to making a career in pharmaceutical communications. If you’re ready to make a positive impact with Bastion Brands, get in touch today.