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2012 Australia - E-Health, E-Education, E-Government

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Last updated: 28 Mar 2012 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 114

Analyst: Paul Budde

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments taking place in the digital economy and in the e-health, e-education and e-government sectors. The report analyses the issues surrounding the development and growth of these services. It includes global and national statistics.

Subjects covered include:

  • The importance of the smart infrastructure that the NBN will provide to these e-sectors;
  • The social and economic benefits of a trans-sector approach to the development of these services;
  • Digital economy market overview, analysis and statistics;
  • An overview on the e-health market including analysis and statistics;
  • An overview on the e-education market with developments, analysis and statistics;
  • An overview on the e-government market with some key facts and figures;
  • Information on the involvement of the key market players.

Researchers:- Paul Budde, Stephen McNamara, Kylie Wansink
Current publication date:- March 2012 (5th Edition)

Executive Summary

Digital infrastructure essential to manage the transition to the e-world

Across the world there are a significant number of social and economic challenges – stagnating economies, ageing population, climate change, peak oil, aging infrastructure, lifelong education. A key problem associated with these challenges is a lack of smart government policies based on integrated solutions that cross sector boundaries. Political leadership is needed to address these issues. Over the last few years citizens all over the world have indicated that they are ready for change. We have seen this in relation to climate change issues and the readiness of users to take up new and modern means of communication and through them participate in many decision making processes.

In this annual publication BuddeComm advises that these challenges can be overcome, things will have to be done differently. There is no linear way forward – lateral solutions are needed. Over the past 60 years we have created a world of specialists who operate within bureaucratic organisations – many of them operating within silo-based structures. These silos need to be bridged and new horizontal structures established in which all sectors and disciplines work together.

Leadership from the top is needed if this is to be achieved. It is called the trans-sector approach and ICT is the glue needed to build more horizontal collaborative structures. Whether we are talking about smart cities, smart transport, smart grids, smart buildings or e-health – these are complex structures and progress can only me made through the smart use of technology; what for example is needed is good data that can be processed and analysed in real time, allowing people and/or machines to make instant decisions in relation to the management of the complex issues that we are facing – issues such as energy efficiency, traffic situations, weather activities, and personal health issues as well as commercial decisions. The infrastructure that can be used to link sectors together in a dynamic way is referred to as M2M or ‘the internet of things’.

Australia is building the large-scale national infrastructure necessary to underpin the transformations that are needed. The government is rolling out a national broadband network (NBN) that is based on the trans-sector principles, and this will help to create a smart country, smart cities and communities as well as smart buildings.

However the funding arrangements for these sectors are still silo-based, and trans-sector policies need to be developed in parallel to maximise the transformational opportunities that the NBN can provide.

To build a sound business model for the NBN the requirements of these sectors need to be taken into account as key areas in the delivery of social and economic benefits to the country. The government indicates that the NBN is a nation-building project and that it has a clear national purpose – it will underpin the digital economy as well as developments in healthcare, education, etc.

In this publication we provide background information on what is needed to properly develop the government policies and business strategies to reap those social and economic benefits. With the right vision this will see Australia taking a global leadership role in the development of new businesses – and indeed new industries – based on the combined features of the NBN: affordability, ubiquitousness, robustness, high capacity and low latency. This will involve both connected people and other connected elements (internet of things).

Assisting the transformation that the NBN can provide, the government launched a National Digital Economy Strategy. This strategy, together with the new infrastructure, requires a new way of thinking that will guide us through the transformation; and the trans-sector approach to the NBN will be critical in this process. In this publication we draw attention to the importance of looking across sectors to create synergy.

We are convinced that convergence offers unprecedented opportunities if the NBN is linked to trans-sector innovation, creating a true digital economy. Such a parallel strategy can break through the many silo-based structures that have been created over the last 50 years. And it can break through inflexible vertically-integrated structures that increase costs and impede competition and innovation.

Such an approach will most likely result in economic and social benefits worth many billions of dollars and, as we are already seeing, it will create significant new business opportunities for Australian companies. In healthcare alone there is talk of savings worth more than $10 billion; and $2 billion in smart grid.

In this annual publication we also discuss a new approach which applies across infrastructure projects, and looks at the potential synergies between the building of roads, sewerage systems and water and gas pipe networks, as well as telecoms and electricity networks.

Education, information and ongoing community engagement are going to be critical areas in ensuring that the projects receive the widespread support needed to make them successful. Adaptation issues, plus a review of silo-based regulations, funding mechanisms and legal barriers, need to be addressed.

Market highlights:

  • Spending on e-governments will double in the next five years.
  • Internet usage in schools sees data usage tripling – and doubling again in another year.
  • NBN-based videoconferencing pilots begin using Centrelink and Medicare departments.
  • Personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR) to commence in 2012.
  • By 2020 more than 25% of specialist will be using telehealth to remote sites.
  • 80% of government interactions will be online or electronic by 2020.
  • E-health trials are commencing in NBN rollout areas across Australia.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not include the current year.

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Could I thank you for making a contribution to this on so many occasions and declare my association with you as a Central Coast resident. I want to say how proud we are of you and how much your expertise has informed us.

Senator Deborah O’Neill, at the Select Senate Committee on the NBN – March 2014

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