Guest: Mathew Cherian
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: Mathew Cherian has worked in the information technology industry since 1981. In 1985 he established Working Systems Software Pty Ltd in Perth, Western Australia. Mr Cherian was appointed CEO and Managing Director of the Company in January 2002 with the aim to refocus on products and services exclusively for the healthcare industry. The initial phase culminated with the rebranding of the Company as Global Health Limited in December 2007. Mr Cherian plays an active role in product strategy and the development of overseas markets.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we welcome Global Health CEO Mathew Cherian to talk about their recent collaboration with HealtKit to allow their customers exchange correspondence with ReferralNet secure messaging subscribers.
Global Health Limited’s ReferralNet Secure Messaging platform enables HealthKit users to send and receive correspondence in compliance with Australian national standards for Secure Message Delivery. Global Health is a leading provider of Digital Health solutions that address the needs of administrators, funders, clinicians and consumers across the healthcare industry whilst HealthKit is a global health platform for patients and practitioners that is making healthcare efficient, effective and accessible for everyone everywhere.
Health Professional Radio – HealthKit
Henry Acosta: Hi, I’m Henry Acosta and welcome to Health Professional Radio. Our guest today is returning Mathew Cherian, Mathew is the managing director and CEO of Global Health Limited. He’s been in the tech industry since 1981, Global Health Limited is the leading provider in digital health solution in Australia. We’re here to talk about the health system in Australia and how important it is to have an organized, quick and reliable network when it comes to sharing information with regards to your medical history. Global Health Limited has partnered with HealthKit to provide that very service. Welcome to the show Mathew and it’s a pleasure to have you back on board.
Mathew Cherian: Thank you very much for having me Henry.
H: It’s a pleasure and can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do right now for Global Health Limited?
M: So I’ve been in the health industry for too long, 25 years in the early 80s when I graduated in IT in IS and have been involved from day one in software development for a variety of industries and then we started getting into health in about 25 years ago in the early 90s and right now that’s all we do, we just write software applications for the health care industry and I’m the managing director here.
H: And what inspired you to getting into health related kind of work?
M: Well, the attraction of health care is early enough the fact that it is so slow and so hard, very difficult, it’s very slow to take on new things and I think that’s a result of the culture in health care where lives can be lost with mistakes. So the whole culture within healthcare is very much to be one of caution which means that it’s been very, in my view very slow to take on the benefits of technology as far as information flow goes and there’s always a huge demand for more beds, more nurses, better machines. So there’s always demand for limited resources in health and yet it is probably one of the most information intensity industries so it really I think technology can radically change the pressures that is currently felt in health care.
H: Can you tell us what’s the goal of Global Health is with its partnership with HealthKit?
M: Okay, so our overall goal is to really bring the patients in the center of the healthcare system. I mean I think it’s very important that consumers, you and I as patients or as consumers of the health care system participate with the people that can help us live well and manage our conditions whatever they are. The key to this I think is the ability to share data across the multiple people that are involved in our health care. So health care is not just about taking care or treatment of symptoms, it involves surgeons, GPs, rehab doctors but increasingly the challenges facing healthcare are due to what they call lifestyle diseases, I think 1 in 3 or 2 in 3 Australians have got lifestyle diseases that means these are conditions that stay with you for the rest of your life and need to be managed. Typically diabetes, mental health, high blood pressure and increasingly renal disease and to manage these conditions requires a variety of different health care providers. It may involve dieticians, psychiatrist, endocrinologist depending obviously what the condition is but it is generally accepted that there are multiple people that are involved in managing our condition and allowing us to avoid, I mean to go to hospital or something more serious. So for that to happen these multiple people involved in our care have to have access to the big picture, the total picture when they need it and that’s why a secure messaging or the ability to sort of share data across people involved in my care is kind of fundamental to being able to take the next step which is get some significant patient safety and patient improvement outcomes.
H: How can healthKit benefit the medical workplace and how can it benefit the regular consumer?
M: Yeah, well HealthKit is one of the faster growing cloudbased apps out there in Australia and they tend to have customers across the whole ecosystem of health: allied health, specialist, GP. So they have a variety of they claim 15 thousand organizations and by adding secure messaging to their customers capabilities they should be able to share information a lot easier with hospitals and rehab and aged care homes and even the new trend is the health care in the home which requires data to be flowing across all the providers whether they’re in the HealthKit network or not and despite their considerable market share health care is probably a lot, lot bigger than what they can ever aspire to cover.
H: What do you think is the biggest misconception that you usually face with regards to HealthKit and with regards to Global Health Limited?
M: I don’t know about the HealthKit, HealthKit’s not really, it’s best to direct those questions to Alison. I think the big … to those guys it was very easy to work with, very responsive, very keen, sort of reactive what their customers wanted which is basically the ability to share information with other providers and yeah, in a very encouraging relationship we have with HealthKit.
H: What’s the main take away message that you’d like to leave for our audience today?
M: Well I think secure messaging is the government and the College of General Practice they’re all focused very strongly on the need to get digital data flowing. There’s about 1 billion pieces of paper that flow through health care ranging from orders, results, referrals, progress notes, prescriptions, claims and etc. and a very, very small percentage of that is flowing electronically as a huge wastage in the amount of data that gets rekeyed or scanned and estimates are that about 30 – 40% of the cost in health care is non-patient facing. In other words administrative staff that lends itself to automation and in Australia with hundred sixty billion spent on healthcare, that’s 50 or 60 billion dollars a year that it could be better spent if we adapt to technology. And just from a productivity perspective it’s a huge benefit, from a patient safety perspective the Royal Australian College has got a paper out which talks about on how a particular messaging is vital to preventing death and adverse patient outcome. So from a patient safety and from a continuity of care perspective it is really important that digital data is flowing across health care. So the take away is that we really need to sit back and think about how we do things in the rest of our life whether it’s booking tickets or finding a restaurant or buying goods and start applying that to the largest industry in the world which is health care.
H: I see and to anyone interested in Global Health Limited or HealthKit, how can they find you or how can they reach you guys?
M: Well the web thru www.global-health.com is how they can reach us or call us on 0396 750 688 and then HealthKit www.healthkit.com will be the best place to talk.
H: Awesome. Well thank you for the interview, it was a pleasure having you back on the show Mathew.
M: Thanks Henry and thanks for taking the time too.
H: Sure and again that was Mathew Cherian, Mathew is the CEO and Managing Director of Global Health and we just finished our discussion about their collaboration with HealthKit. I’m Henry Acosta and you’re listening to Health Professional Radio. If you’ve missed this interview you can find us on www.healthprofessionalradio.com.au or on www.hpr.fm. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes and SoundCloud.