Tuesday, 18th August 2020

TelSoc members please register via the TelSoc Website.
Zero cost zoom event: Non-members register via Eventbrite link towards bottom of page. TelSoc members login and register via "Book a Seat"

This event is fully booked or has passed.

Telehealth and Digital Inclusion

TelSoc non-members, please consider joining TelSoc, or register via Eventbrite: Eventbrite registration link



Post completion of the build of the NBN, a major component of the next phase of broadband network development in Australia will be an emphasis on realising the full social and economic benefits of such networks, fixed and mobile.

Many of these benefits have become clearly apparent in the time of COVID-19, the question becoming how to fully recognise and achieve them on a continuing basis. Early in 2019 the NBN Futures Group began a process of engaging with a variety of stakeholders via discussion papers and open forums, such as this, exploring key issues impacting social and economic benefits, in this case considering possible cross links between broadband applications such as telehealth, working from home, online learning, personal communications, small business processes – and digital inclusion/literacy.

This forum will explore what is needed in full programs to tackle digital inclusion in Australia, to achieve the full potential of Telehealth as a particularly important application.


Chair and Q&A: Dr Jim Holmes (NBN Futures Group)

Introduction: John Burke (NBN Futures Group)

Ishtar Vij (Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance) will explore the barriers to digital inclusion in Australia, including digital capability - the skills needed to make full use of technologies in an increasingly digitised society.

Professor Anthony Smith (Centre for Online Health, University of Queensland) will provide an overview of the status of Telehealth developments over the last 25 years and in particular during COVID-19.

Professor Peter Brooks (Centre for Health Policy, University of Melbourne) will outline the research and what is needed for a full program to achieve the potential of Telehealth, including Telehealth ecosystem, digital literacy and the introduction of 'digital health navigators'.


Participation in this Zoom event is free both for TelSoc members and others with an interest in Telehealth and Digital Inclusion. Please ensure that you register, as above, either via the TelSoc website (Book a Seat button above), or via Eventbrite. The Zoom meeting details will be dispatched to those registered to attend. To avoid disappointment, please consider booking early as Zoom numbers are limited.


Eventbrite registration link


TelSoc encourages new members to join. Membership is very reasonably priced and helps to support TelSoc fostering Telecommunications and the Digital Economy in Australia. For further details on becoming a member of TelSoc, please see: https://telsoc.org/membership


Given that this is a Zoom rather than live event the Q&A session following formal presentations will endeavour to respond to questions as equitably as possible - using the zoom 'Chat' facilities. However depending on audience size and logistics this could be limited. In any case please don't hesitate to raise questions via the Zoom CHAT facility. Questions will be recorded and if not addressed in the time available will be subsequently provided to presenters. The overall event will be recorded.


Access and Documentation

Subsequent to registration, Zoom access details will be provided to all registrants via an update 'newsletter' dispatch, together with a Summary Sheet for each presenter together, relevant references, and additional biographical details.


Date and Time

Tue, 18 Aug 2020

12:00 - 13:45 AEST


Zoom Online Event Only
Zoom Online Event Only
Melbourne VIC 3000


Ishtar Vij
Ishtar leads Eloquium Group, a public affairs consultancy, and convenes the Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance. The Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance is a shared initiative with over 400 business, government, academic and community organisations working together to accelerate action on digital inclusion.
Its member organisations conduct a variety of research and practical programs aimed at reducing the digital divide and enabling greater social and economic participation for everyone in Australia
Professor Anthony Smith

Professor Anthony Smith is the Director of The University of Queensland's Centre for Online Health (COH). He is also an Adjunct Professor of Digital Health and Telehealth at the University of Southern Denmark, in Odense, Denmark.

Professor Smith has around 20 years research experience mainly focussed on the planning, implementation and evaluation of new telehealth applications for clinicians and patients - in metropolitan, regional and remote areas. In 2004, Professor Smith completed his PhD in the Faculty of Medicine. His research explored the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of a novel telepaediatric service in Queensland.

Professor Smith has developed and sustained an exemplary international track record in the establishment and evaluation of telehealth, principally in paediatrics and more recently in the adult and aged care disciplines. In collaboration with the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, he was instrumental in establishing and managing the Queensland Telepaediatric Service (QTS) from 2000 to 2015. During this time over 23,000 teleconsultations were provided for children all throughout Queensland – in specialties including burns care, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, neurology, orthopaedics and psychiatry.

He remains an active committee member for the ATHS and contributes to the planning and delivery of the annual telehealth conference. Professor Smith is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare (Sage Publishers, London) — one of the leading international journals in the field of telemedicine and telecare. He is also an active peer-reviewer for 11 other journals; and a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) roster of experts for the digital health advisory panel.

Professor Peter Brooks AM

Research Lead Northern Health (2017- ) Director Research Northern Health 2012-2015
Director Australian Health Workforce Institute University of Melbourne 2007-2013
Honorary Professor, Centre for Health Policy, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne 2013-

He established the Centre for On Line Health at UQ in 2000 with Prof Peter Yellowlees and was an Associate investigator in the CRE for Telehealth - University of Queensland (2014-2019).

He has recently established the Australian Health Workforce Institute, a joint initiative of The University of Queensland and The University of Melbourne which is developing an evidence base for Health Workforce policy and innovation.

Peter Brooks has held previous posts as Executive Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Queensland , as Professor of Medicine at St. Vincent ’s Hospital , Sydney (University of New South Wales ) and was the Foundation Professor of Rheumatology at the Royal North Shore Hospital and the University of Sydney.

He has published over 400 papers on the treatment and outcomes in arthritis, psychological aspects of rheumatic diseases and on medical education and health workforce. He has completed reviews on carers and clinical placements for health professional students for HWA. He has a broad understanding  of mobile technology advances including simulation and its ability to drive health workforce productivity.

He was one of the founding members of OMERACT – outcome measures in rheumatology clinical trials - an international group which has for the last 20 years set the benchmark for the evaluation of therapies in musculoskeletal medicine. More recently he was involved the establishment of active patient involvement in all OMERACT activities - a very important initiative that has helped to inform the agenda of Patient Related Outcomes (PROs) so important as we engage patients and the community in the health system.

Regular commentator in media on issues relating to consumer engagement, research integrity and health policy issues including use of technology in healthcare. 

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