Opening keynote speaker for APHA Congress 2017


A leading digital health adviser will kick off the APHA 36th National Congress in March, beginning the debate about Digital disruption in healthcare: it's the small data, stupid.

Cathie Reid, Digital Advisor for Icon Group and Co-Founder of Epic Pharmacy Group, will be sharing her passion for digital health with the audience. She will also discuss her thoughts and experience of what small data can deliver for the health system.

“We hear a lot about what big data is going to do in healthcare and the problems it’s going to solve, but with so much of the health system still based on pen and paper, or siloed digital records, those solutions are still some time away from being fully realised.

“In the meantime though there’s a lot we can learn from the small data that we already have access to, and I also want to reflect on why it’s important to continue to ‘eat the elephant one bite at a time’ in the journey towards the digitisation of health,” said Ms Reid.

An area of change that could have an impact on private hospitals is the move from a paper-based hospital to a digital one.

Ms Reid recognises many benefits in this move including the improved access to information which will help everyone play their roles more effectively, from patients to doctors to nurses to the administration team.

“The big problem with paper based records is that unless you have that piece of paper in front of you, the information it contains isn’t visible or easily shared and digital records, provided that they are designed in a way that allows information to be accessed in a logical and intuitive manner, resolve that,” said Ms Reid.

Not only does she recognise the potential in digital records, but it is important to look outside the box when it comes to caring for patients.

“I also think the ability for health professionals to gain visibility into what’s happening to the patient outside of the hospital environment has the potential to see healthcare move to a more proactive model than its current predominantly reactive design.”

Ms Reid definitely has a passion for the health sector and finds that everyone she works with share a common purpose of caring for people, this keeps her motivated with her various roles.

“The thing I’ve always enjoyed most about working in the health sector is that you’re ultimately trying to assist people to either be able to maximise their ability to live the life they wish to lead, or at a time when they really need assistance and care.”

Not a stranger to speaking in front of crowds, Ms Reid still gets a buzz as the adrenaline kicks in before she gets to the stage but she hopes that people will take away from her discussion the value that data both big and small can deliver to the health sector.


The APHA 36th National Congress will be held on 19 - 21 March 2017 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Registration is open.


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