Faces of SEMPHN: Meet the Digital Health team

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Digital Health team

The Digital Health team at South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN) may be familiar faces to general practices across the region. They help people in primary health get to most out of technology.

Introducing, as pictured above, the Digital Health team: Carol, Vignesh, Angela, Stephen, Lindy and Brendon.

Tell us, in a nutshell, what your team does

We try and help people get the most out of technology, where possible, for better health outcomes and better quality of life.

This includes practical, realistic, and pragmatic advice on implementing technology, but also on how to influence and shape technology projects to best meet the needs of patients and clinicians.

Health information, like everything else in health, is extremely complex, and so using technology for healthcare requires a special understanding of the complexity, the socio-technical dimensions, as well as the safety and privacy aspects.

There are four main programs and activities under the Digital Health banner:

  • Nellie - an SMS-based persona for promoting patient self-care
  • POLAR - a tool for analysing and visualising general practice data
  • Digital Health support – which includes a comprehensive online resource called Health Vital IT
  • My Health Record – the national system for Australians’ health information.

What are the backgrounds of the team?

Some of us are clinicians, some are technical people. But we’re all boundary-spanners: we can speak the language of both healthcare and technology.

What is the most rewarding part of your roles?

Being part of a great team and working on programs that are making a difference to the lives of patients and clinicians.

Why is your team pivotal to SEMPHN's work?

Despite the challenges with technology, a good understanding of technology and information can be a real benefit for healthcare. The benefits are not just the programs for external stakeholders, we also help and advise internal teams.

What are you most proud of as a team?

We feel that there’s always something we could do to improve.

Talk us through a typical day for the digital health team.

There’s no such thing as a typical day! The only predictable thing is that it will be both challenging and rewarding.

What is a digital health misconception?

That technology can work on its own. It never does, there are always the non-technical aspects that are critical to its success.

If you’re interested in speaking to the team, get in touch via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 03 8514 4460.

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