2014 Australia - E-Health, E-Education, E-Government

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments taking place 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:

  • Smart Societies will increasingly depend on Artificial Intelligence
  • Transformation of the healthcare, education and government sectors
  • The need for increased (digital) productivity
  • 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, Kylie Wansink
Current publication date:- April 2014 (7th Edition)

Executive Summary

Digital productivity the next frontier in the economy

Smart Societies based on Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments are accelerating, and astonishing innovations will emerge during the next few years as more companies enter this sector and spend money on developing it. AI applications are already being used in healthcare and gaming, to name just two sectors adopting this cutting edge technology.

These processes are already underway through global interconnection, facilitated by technologies such as the internet, broadband, smartphones and mobility. More importantly for these particular developments is data analytics through M2M (machine-to-machine), which allows for better management of the various aspects of our society. This will lead to interaction between these two developments – and even integration, merging humans and machines. Artificial intelligence has made this increasingly possible.

Some of the predictions and scenarios discussed might not be exactly right, as we are pushing the boundaries of our current level of knowledge. Some issues could attract strong responses from those with different views, and most likely some of the predictions will end up producing completely different outcomes. But what really matters is the discussion itself.

Sector and industry transformation

The digital economy began to take hold a decade or so ago, and some organisations were quick to react, while others were slow. The naysayers saw the impact of the internet on their business as a fad that would soon fade away; others, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Yahoo, saw it as the new business model.

A decade later it is clear who was right and who was wrong. The digital economy is here to stay and those who fail to participate will become the road-kill on this superhighway. One of the real threats to traditional business is that those who are embracing the digital economy have an opportunity to grow their business faster, and thus widen the gap between the winners and the losers.

The government sector is also at a crossroads here. Because of their large share in the economy and in national ICT spending governments can drive transformation and innovation in the national economy.  Furthermore, like the business market, governments have to face the reality of transformation. For example, the healthcare sector is rapidly approaching a fiscal cliff. Costs attached to healthcare have grown to a completely unsustainable level.

Only through digital transformation can we afford to maintain our hard-earned lifestyle.


Efficiency levels in the healthcare sector are among the lowest in the economy – estimated by IBM to be minus 40%. Through e-health $30 billion can be saved over a 10-year period. Healthcare is clearly becoming an area where key killer applications emerge –  applications that utilise truly high-speed broadband networks.

As the financing of the public health systems in Australia becomes increasingly costly an opportunity exists to lower costs through more effective use of web services for healthcare consumers. With widely available and cost-effective ICT developments in data analytics, M2M and high-speed broadband infrastructure, e-health is enabling customers to benefit from advances in medical technology and medical services.

The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) is a key enabler in that policy and a report on these developments is included.

While broader economic conditions in Australia remain subdued, spending on e-health solutions is likely to continue.

In the report we also list the key projects in Australia. We provide an overview of trials, both publicly- and privately-funded, and initiatives in e-health, with an overview of pilot programs as well.


Education is seen as one of the main sectors that will benefit from developments in the digital economy, but so far the results of adaptation have been mixed. While new ICT gear has entered the classroom it is being used within the traditional classroom learning system. In order to fully utilise these new technologies a true sector transformation will need to occur.

Good examples can be seen in developing economies where there are little or no traditional systems in place. There, for example, children are using smartphone apps and the internet to bypass these traditional systems; they are basically using the new technology for self-education. Schools are then adapting to these new circumstances. Freely available educational material from many school and university websites around the world is assisting this development.

It is unlikely that the traditional education system will be able to cater for the massive requirements generated by the skills and knowledge acquisition associated with this new environment. Digital adaptation will be needed to break through the old structures.

Perhaps far more threatening are the many social and economic changes taking place in society.  Not only is the traditional education system ill-equipped for this transformational process; the costs involved in running such a system are simply no longer economically viable.


Governments are facing revenue and expenditure pressures that will only intensify in the coming decades as the Australian population ages. This is creating an urgent need to reduce costs, particularly in non-frontline areas such as administration. At the same time the public sector is at a crossroads – how services have been delivered in the past, and how they will be delivered in the future. It is also facing structural changes, such as an increasingly mobile workforce and more complex service delivery channels.

To deal with these cost pressures and impending structural changes governments will need to fundamentally change their policy-making and regulatory frameworks, as well as their approach to service delivery. Adopting digital technologies will be central to solving these problems, but it will also require comprehensive reforms to the public sector. But such reforms are not just about cutting costs. Improvements to public sector efficiencies and effectiveness, and reduced administration costs, can also flow on to a healthier national economy and enable improved services in areas such as health and education.

Many countries around the world are now well aware of the importance of e-government and many governments have shown leadership in developing online services. The benefits of e-government applications can include cutting costs and improving processes and information flow, but one of its primary aims is to improve customer service for citizens.

The government policy on the National Broadband Network has also sharpened its focus on the digital economy and the leadership role the government will have to adopt to kick-start developments in the area of e-government. This has resulted in the National Digital Economy Strategy – close to 100 different projects are now being developed under this policy.

The government has also taken a leading role in developing a National Cloud Computing Strategy, which in turn has given the broader industry the confidence needed to start adopting new opportunities that are arising in that area.

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Smart Societies based on Artificial Intelligence
    • 1.1 The proposition
    • 1.2 Philosophy and science
    • 1.3 Social and economic developments
    • 1.4 Are we reaching another breaking point?
    • 1.5 Solutions by using information technology to increase our intelligence
      • 1.5.1 Silos need to be replaced by trans-sector thinking
      • 1.5.2 Disintermediation brings people closer together
      • 1.5.3 AI - assisting in creating a global brain
      • 1.5.4 Cognitive Systems
    • 1.6 Examples of developments
      • 1.6.1 Watson – cognitive computing
      • 1.6.2 Deep learning
      • 1.6.3 Angelina
      • 1.6.4 Cognitive Engine
    • 1.7 Conclusion
  • 2. Digital Sector and Industry Transformations
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 The digital economy – what is at stake?
      • 2.2.1 The effects of the digital economy are all around us.
      • 2.2.2 Commercial Sectors
      • 2.2.3 Global competition
      • 2.2.4 Healthcare
      • 2.2.5 Education
      • 2.2.6 ICT Investments needed
    • 2.3 Lack of vision – politicians absorbed by costs of ageing economic models
    • 2.4 Australia’s two-tiered economy
    • 2.5 Australia’s digital transformation is underway
      • 2.5.1 National Broadband Infrastructure
      • 2.5.2 Cloud computing, Big Data, M2M
      • 2.5.3 The need for digital productivity
    • 2.6 Developed economies not ready for an ICT-driven recovery
    • 2.7 ICT tools can provide $8 billion of annual savings
    • 2.8 Transformation based on smart infrastructure
    • 2.9 Selected Industry and sector transformations
      • 2.9.1 Digital Technology transforming the mining sector
      • 2.9.2 Resource and energy management are hot issues all around the world
      • 2.9.3 Digital economy transforming the banking industry
      • 2.9.4 Omni-channel changing Retailing
      • 2.9.5 Book Industry
      • 2.9.6 The transformation of the disability sector
    • 2.10 Statistical information and economic benefits
      • 2.10.1 The impact on the economy
      • 2.10.2 The thousands of unreported benefits of high-speed infrastructure
      • 2.10.3 Digital Australia – statistical findings
  • 3. National Digital Economy Strategy (NDES)
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Other specific initiatives
    • 3.3 Overview of activities mid 2013
    • 3.4 Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy – update to the NDES
    • 3.5 Progress of the program – mid 2013
      • 3.5.1 Brief overview of grants provided.
    • 3.6 Local e-government initiative
    • 3.7 NBN 3D mapping/modelling project
    • 3.8 Digital Citizens Guide
    • 3.9 The NBN-enabled education and skills services program
    • 3.10 Tuition for new migrants using the NBN
    • 3.11 E- health services
    • 3.12 Seniors
      • 3.12.1 M2 delivers broadband for seniors
    • 3.13 Australian Interactive Games Fund
    • 3.14 Indigenous Communications Program
    • 3.15 Smart home in Armidale
    • 3.16 Smart Farm Armidale
      • 3.16.1 Smart farming
      • 3.16.2 Kirby Smart Farm
      • 3.16.3 Smart Farm projects
      • 3.16.4 Live map of soil and environmental conditions
      • 3.16.5 Monitoring cattle behaviour using GPS collars and ear tag tracking devices
      • 3.16.6 Access Cam
      • 3.16.7 SMART Farm control portal
    • 3.17 Energy efficiency and sustainability
    • 3.18 Teleworking
      • 3.18.1 Teleworking and SMEs
      • 3.18.2 Traffic jams and teleworking
      • 3.18.3 Market survey
      • 3.18.4 Teleworking research from ACMA
      • 3.18.5 Teleworking study
      • 3.18.6 Australians working online – Sensis Report
    • 3.19 NBN Regional Legal Assistance Program
    • 3.20 High-definition videoconferencing pilot program
    • 3.21 Digital Business Kits for small businesses
    • 3.22 NBN Art grants
    • 3.23 Digital Inclusion
  • 4. E-Health
    • 4.1 Overview, Stats and Analysis
      • 4.1.1 The Health Care Market
      • 4.1.2 E-health in the context of BuddeComm research
      • 4.1.3 Introduction e-health
      • 4.1.4 White Paper calls for National Telehealth Strategy
      • 4.1.5 Budget 2013: e-Health overview
      • 4.1.6 Survey Results
      • 4.1.7 The national health reform
      • 4.1.8 Healthcare – ‘no outcome, no income’
      • 4.1.9 BT’s e-Health plans for Australia
      • 4.1.10 Optimising e-health
      • 4.1.11 Analysis by Frost & Sullivan
      • 4.1.12 Medical technology industry
    • 4.2 Pilots and Projects
      • 4.2.1 E-health projects and initiatives
      • 4.2.2 Digital Regions Initiative
      • 4.2.3 R&D projects and initiatives
      • 4.2.4 Private initiatives
      • 4.2.5 Telstra’s e-health initiatives
      • 4.2.6 Health insurance - Health.com
    • 4.3 National Broadband Network – E-Health
      • 4.3.1 E-health in the context of BuddeComm research
      • 4.3.2 E-health – Killer App on the NBN
      • 4.3.3 NBN based e-health projects
      • 4.3.4 E-health – key to the success of NBN – analysis
    • 4.4 Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR)
      • 4.4.1 PCEHR timeline to 2014
      • 4.4.2 Users can control their PCEHR
      • 4.4.3 Wave 1 and 2
      • 4.4.4 Other Projects
      • 4.4.5 Design and implement contract awarded
      • 4.4.6 Review of the PCEHR project
      • 4.4.7 Roll out on target
      • 4.4.8 Expected benefits of PCEHR
      • 4.4.9 Additional funding for imaging record
      • 4.4.10 GPs get paid for record collation
      • 4.4.11 Online delivery of health documents
      • 4.4.12 Project outsourcing
      • 4.4.13 The most vulnerable need our assistance with e-health – PCEHR analysis
      • 4.4.14 Market surveys
  • 5. E-Education
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Education system will hit economic crisis point
      • 5.2.1 Education is not keeping up with social changes
      • 5.2.2 Economic costs will force the system to change
      • 5.2.3 Governments will be forced to stop costs spiralling out of control
    • 5.3 Trends and Developments in E-Education
      • 5.3.1 Education transformation will guide e-learning.
      • 5.3.2 Self-learning in developing economies
      • 5.3.3 Schools as platforms for individual learning
      • 5.3.4 E-Learning the story so far
    • 5.4 Education and the NBN
      • 5.4.1 Introduction
      • 5.4.2 Survey shows NBN important for education
      • 5.4.3 Analysis on e-education initiatives
      • 5.4.4 Improved outcomes via fast broadband
      • 5.4.5 The NBN-Enabled Education and Skills Services program
      • 5.4.6 NBN education portal
      • 5.4.7 Virtual excursions from the classroom
      • 5.4.8 Tuition for new migrants using the NBN
      • 5.4.9 Online training and advice from TAFE
      • 5.4.10 NBN trials
      • 5.4.11 Classrooms in the cloud
      • 5.4.12 ABC Splash
      • 5.4.13 Digital careers program
      • 5.4.14 National VET E-Learning Strategy
    • 5.5 E-education infrastructure initiatives
      • 5.5.1 Background
      • 5.5.2 National government policy – Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) to the schools
      • 5.5.3 Satellite boosting distance learning in NSW
      • 5.5.4 MySchool 2.0
      • 5.5.5 NSW schools get fast broadband
      • 5.5.6 AARNet’s e-learning pilot
      • 5.5.7 Broadband for Seniors
    • 5.6 E-education content in Australia
      • 5.6.1 Australia’s largest online library
      • 5.6.2 E-learning from Australian Computer Society (ACS)
      • 5.6.3 Media literacy
      • 5.6.4 Digital literacy program for adults
      • 5.6.5 Massive Open Online course (MOOC)
    • 5.7 Other E-education Trends and Developments
      • 5.7.1 Digital transformation of higher education
      • 5.7.2 Bring Your Own Device to school
      • 5.7.3 Devices driving ICT spending in education
      • 5.7.4 Education apps
      • 5.7.5 Remote laptops from One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)
      • 5.7.6 Health and e-education working to solve reading problems
    • 5.8 Global trends in e-education (separate global report)
  • 6. E-Government
    • 6.1 Statistical Overview of the Government Market
    • 6.2 Government should take a leadership role in the digital economy
    • 6.3 New Government’s e-Government plan
    • 6.4 National Digital Economy Strategy (NDES)
      • 6.4.1 Introduction
      • 6.4.2 Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy – update to the NDES
      • 6.4.3 Federal Government’s Digital First Policy
      • 6.4.4 Local e-government initiative from NDES
    • 6.5 Government and cloud computing
      • 6.5.1 Federal Government early adopter
      • 6.5.2 National cloud computing strategy
      • 6.5.3 Cloud rules for offshore storage of government data
    • 6.6 Government deploys national TelePresence system
    • 6.7 Survey on e-government services usage (2009)
      • 6.7.1 Conclusions
    • 6.8 Australia in the Global Innovation Index
      • 6.8.1 Overview
      • 6.8.2 Australian rankings
      • Table 1 - Selection of predictions in BT’s timeline
      • Table 2 – Australians who use the internet at work
      • Table 3 – Australians who telework
      • Table 4 – Where Australians telework
      • Table 5 - Australian Health Market 2010
      • Table 6 - Percentage of GDP and government spend on aged care - 2001; 2008 - 2010; 2040; 2050
      • Table 7 - The costs of healthcare (selected countries)
      • Table 8 – Estimated cost of diabetes in the community – 2002; 2032
      • Table 9 – Expected total net benefits of the funded national PCEHR system (2010-2025)
      • Table 10 - Benefits of the national PCEHR system for priority health activities
      • Table 11 - Breakdown of PCEHR benefits by care setting
      • Table 12 – Doctors “Routine Use” of Healthcare IT Capabilities
      • Table 13 – Estimated education and training revenue – 2012
      • Table 14 – Estimated government recurrent expenditure – 2012 - 2013
      • Table 15 - Government Cloud Computing examples
      • Table 16 – Comparison of Australian measurements in the Global Innovation Index – 2011 - 2012
      • Chart 1 – Overview of GDP spent on aged care versus government spend – 2001; 2008 - 2010; 2040; 2050
      • Exhibit 1 – Artificial Intelligence (AI)
      • Exhibit 2 – Watson in healthcare
      • Exhibit 3 - How does broadband relate to economic development?
      • Exhibit 4 - Key ICT business tools
      • Exhibit 5 – Round 1 funding recipients Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise
      • Exhibit 6 – Eligible round 2 communities Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise
      • Exhibit 4 – Eligible round 3 communities Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise
      • Exhibit 5 – Digital local government program projects – May 2013
      • Exhibit 7 - Primary and community health sector statistics
      • Exhibit 8 – Aged care services statistics
      • Exhibit 9 – Costs of e-health plan
      • Exhibit 10 – PCEHR timeline – 2009 - 2014
      • Exhibit 11 – Working through record matching progress report – 2011
      • Exhibit 12 - Details of patient's e-health record as per mid 2013
      • Exhibit 13 – A snapshot on school education –

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Number of pages 161

Status Archived

Last updated 9 Apr 2014
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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