First two speakers announced for SFT-14

The Australasian Telehealth Society and the Centre for Online Health are pleased to announce the first two speakers for the Successes and Failures in Telehealth conference, fifth annual conference of the Australasian Telehealth Society.  They are Professor Gordon Peterkin and Prof Peter Soyer.

GPeterkinProfessor Gordon Peterkin is a former GP from Forfar, Scotland.  A graduate of Glasgow University, he has a long standing interest in business management and innovation.  From being Director of Development at the Tayside Centre for General Practice, he became Medical Director of Grampian Healthcare in April 1998 and worked in medical management through various health service reorganisations until April 2006, when he assumed the role of Director of The Scottish Centre for Telehealth.  

This was a post which enabled him to put his past experience in health service redesign, unscheduled care, community hospitals and relationships with industry to good use.  His prime objective was to set up a facilitative organisation that supported development and research in chronic disease management, unscheduled care, professional education and remote and rural issues. He is a strong believer in the development of integrated care systems and joined up ways of working across disciplines.

Professor Peterkin has organised a range of international study tours Specifically involving the Veterans Administration and Kaiser Permanante in America on two separate occasions, Integrated Care using technology in Finland one visit to Cuba and a lecture tour to Belarus in relation to post Chernobyl Care with an NGO.

He believes telehealth is one of the keys that will facilitate redesign of healthcare and improved services for patients particularly in countries undergoing difficult political change.   He maintains his academic links and now works part-time as a Consultant in this fascinating field. He has a specific interest in evaluation of new clinical systems and international comparisons, His most recent projects are on the re-design of healthcare on the Islands of Arran, Cumbrae and Islay as separate projects and has done similar work with West Coast DHB in New Zealand.


Professor Peter Soyer is an academic dermatologist with over 30 years’ experience in the field. He was appointed as the inaugural Chair in Dermatology by The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2007 and as Director of the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) Dermatology Department in 2008. He has a strong focus on translational skin cancer research in his dual role as the Director of the Dermatology Research Centre (DRC), part of UQ School of Medicine, and leadership of the Dermatology Department at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. He is also an Adjunct Professor within the UQ Diamantina Institute.

Professor Soyer is internationally recognised in the field of dermatology with particular expertise in the areas of clinical dermatology, dermatooncology, dermatopathology and dermatologic imaging (dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy).  Within the dermatology discipline he is a pioneer and world leader in the field of dermoscopy of pigmented skin lesions, a non-invasive diagnostic method. He has lead the development of the morphologic classification system currently used worldwide.  

More recently, one research focus of Prof Soyer has been in telehealth.  He has worked to expand the concept and applications of teledermatology and teledermoscopy, bringing specialist dermatology services to poorly supported and rural areas. He is CIE on a recently awarded NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth, which saw a boost of $2.5 million into Telehealth research. Prof Soyer is also involved in a collaborative project to develop and foster a program on Consumer Mobile Teledermatology

Professor Soyer has an extensive publication record with over 550 publications to date, with more than 500 citations per year (in the last 5 years) and an h-index of 41 (ResearcherID: E-6000-2010). Professor Soyer is the recipient of an NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship (2012-2016), and since his appointment with UQ, has been awarded 3 NHMRC project grants (2 as CIA), 1 NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence grant (as CIE), 1 ARC Discovery project grant (as CIB) and several other sources of competitive funding.  In total, through his involvement as an investigator, he has achieved over $9m in research funding for UQ.