Australia expands digital initiatives in COVID-19 response | Healthcare Asia Magazine
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Australia expands digital initiatives in COVID-19 response

The country’s pandemic landscape is expected to transform further in the coming months.

Australia has been focusing on the expansion of digital health initiatives, along with provisional vaccine approvals, to combat the resurging infection rates due to newer COVID-19 sub-variants, according to a report from GlobalData.

The country has adopted various COVID-19 digital health initiatives, including the implementation of electronic prescribing and issuance of COVID-19 digital certificates, the report stated.

In addition, numerous apps have been launched, such as “COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder,” “Australian Government WhatsApp channel for COVID-19” for updates on the government’s pandemic response, “Residential aged care worker COVID-19 vaccination rates map,” and “COVIDSafe” mobile app to identify people exposed to COVID-19.

Atulana Dey, pharmaceutical analyst at GlobalData, noted that there has been an accelerated development and up-scaling of digital technologies across the country’s healthcare system as confirmed cases are on the rise again due to stronger variants.

These technologies came hand-in-hand with provisional vaccine approvals for Pfizer booster dose extension for 16-17-year-old, Novavax’s first approval for 18 years and older, and Moderna extended approval for 6 years and older.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in digital initiatives in Australia, to empower healthcare users and providers with tools and data systems to better manage health outcomes and its impact on prevalent chronic illnesses,” Dey said.

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Additionally, GlobalData noted that there has been improved accessibility to vaccination for patients and physicians, and actionable insights tailored for individual outcomes as well as improved public health.

Dey expects the COVID-19 landscape in Australia to transform further in the upcoming months, as the anticipated increase in winter influenza cases due to predicted lower flu immunity, coupled with prevalent at-risk co-morbid health conditions and more dominant sub-variants will plausibly increase the infection rate.

“Efficient digital initiatives and data-driven healthcare provisions will help combat any new challenges the country faces in the wake of a resurgence,” Dey said.

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