No amount of heat or humidity could deflect the excitement and interest displayed at the 18th Successes and Failures in Telehealth Conference (SFT), which was held in Darwin, Australia, from 22-24 October 2018. The SFT-18 conference was hosted by The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health, in conjunction with the 9th Annual Meeting of the Australasian Telehealth Society.
This year’s SFT conference was attended by over 160 delegates and more than a dozen industry sponsors – showcasing their expertise and interest in telehealth. Delegates had the opportunity to attend a range of optional workshops – including: “telehealth basics”, “how to evaluate telehealth”, “setting up clinical telehealth services”, and “establishing telehealth multidisciplinary teams”. The main program included over 70 presentations reflecting formal research and clinical case reports associated with telehealth. Two keynote presentations were very well received in the plenary sessions, including Professor Branko Celler who elegantly outlined the results of his extensive work with remote monitoring and honest impressions about the barriers of scaling up similar services; and Dr Laurence Sim – who enlightened the audience with an overview of artificial intelligence (AI), and his personal views about the opportunities and misconceptions of AI in the health care industry. The SFT conference sessions included audience led question and answer sessions; as well as panel discussions on specific topics of interest.
A special issue of the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare (JTT Volume 24(10), December 2018) was published and made available electronically at the conference. The JTT Special Issue contained a selection of short papers, which were offered following the peer-review process. In addition, delegates also received a copy of the conference proceedings via the conference app – which proved popular for collaboration and networking.
SFT-18 offered a diverse range of presentations on a variety of important telehealth topics, an industry showcase session, poster presentation sessions and telehealth demonstrations. Overall the conference received very positive feedback, and plans are already underway for the 2019 International Conference on Success and Failures in Telehealth. Whilst we broaden our understanding about aspects of telehealth which work well – or don’t work at all; we need to actively plan and develop the systems of the future which – will allow for the widespread use of telehealth applications.
We encourage you to share your views at the 2019 Successes and Failures Conference, which will be held at the Gold Coast, Queensland from 21-23 October 2019. The SFT-19 call for abstracts will be open until 27 May, 2019.