Community members and health professionals were given the opportunity to hear the latest innovations in health at the Smart Health Symposium at the WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) on Thursday 18 August.
Held as part of the annual Goodness Festival National Science Week activities in Geraldton, and in celebration of science, sustainability and innovation. The symposium featured keynote speaker Dr David Glance, Director of the University of Western Australia Centre for Software Practice (UWA CSP), a UWA research and development centre.
Dr Glance spoke on the role of mobiles, wearables and personal data in managing health and wellbeing through activity and informed action. Software on mobiles, interacting with sensors in wearable technology can help organise, track and advise on a person's progress in managing their own health. The information can be shared with a care team which supports telehealth and other types of communication. Dr Glance compared these technologies as the new ‘Uber of health care’.
Local presenters included Dr Sandy Hamilton, WACRH Research Fellow funded under the UWA Poche Centre, who spoke on heart disease management using smart phone technologies; Phil Doncon, an artist and youth worker, spoke on the ‘Garage Days’ project which aims to empower children and youth to have optimal health and be leaders in our local community by building skills around resilience; Dane Waters, CEO of Health Communication Resources (HCR), spoke on how to use community media effectively to drive social change from the grass roots level; Esta May, 360 Health + Community Team Leader, spoke on the Partners in Recovery model used in the Midwest and its positive impacts on people with mental health issues.
A standout from the event was the highly interactive open panel discussion at the end which saw some interesting questioning from the audience.
Professor Sandra Thompson, Director of the WA Centre of Rural Health, was enthusiastic about WACRH’s participation at the Goodness Festival in the theme of ‘Smart Health’.
‘Feedback from the attendees was very positive and we hope to put on more regular forums with guest speakers for the community to attend’, Professor Thompson said.
Goodness Science, Sustainability and Innovation Festival is an Inspiring Australia initiative, supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week, and by Regional Development Australia Mid West Gascoyne.
Photo caption: Dr David Glance presenting at the Smart Health Symposium at the WA Centre for Rural Health in Geraldton.