Symposium to fast track global innovation in health care

Prominent medical and health experts will gather today at the inaugural SPHERE 2017 International Symposium to generate new insights into a more patient-focused and sustainable health care system.


Photo: Shutterstock

Prominent medical and health experts from Australia and abroad will gather today to generate new insights into a more patient-focused and sustainable health care system at the inaugural SPHERE 2017 International Symposium.

The conference, which is open to members of the public, will be held on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 November at the City Recital Hall in Sydney.

Individual addresses and panel discussions will span a wide range of topics, including innovation in healthcare, personalised medicine, policy, health and the built environment, and public and patient involvement.

Thought-provoking sessions will be interspersed with captivating visual and musical performances, an innovation showcase and networking opportunities.

SPHERE – the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise –  is a $20 million partnership of 14 education and medical research organisations. Launched in March 2017, and also known by its Dharug Indigenous name of Maridulu Budyari Gumal, its aim is to develop new and innovative ways to deliver better healthcare for communities.

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs, who is the inaugural Chair of SPHERE, said the Symposium highlighted Australia’s current and future contribution to the health of Australia and the world.

“We are delighted the inaugural SPHERE 2017 International Symposium has brought together thought leaders, clinicians, researchers, policy makers and innovators from all over the world, united in their commitment to improve health and wellbeing,” he said.

Plenary speakers include Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, and Charlie Day, CEO of the Innovation and Science Australia Board.

The symposium will be hosted by ABC journalist Dr Norman Swan, presenter of The Health Report on Radio National. Prominent international experts include Sastry Chilukuri of McKinsey and Company in the US, Dr Leslie Levin of Excite International in Canada, and Professor Gary Ford of the Oxford Academic Health Science Network in the UK.

Australian speakers include:

  • Professor Anushka Patel, George Institute for Global Health, will bring the perspective of an academic focused on innovating in healthcare delivery across a range of very different health systems globally, including in Australia as well as in several countries in Asia.

  • Professor Helena Teede, Monash Partners and Australian Health Research Alliance, will discuss the opportunities for public and patient involvement to drive an accountable health and research sector.

  • Professor John Mattick, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, will discuss the highly contentious debate about personalized medicine, including the ethical implications of individual genome sequencing within the public healthcare landscape.

  • Elizabeth Koff, NSW Secretary for Health, will discuss how to harness better value care.

  • Martin Bowles PSM, former Australian Secretary of the Department of Health, will talk about how leadership enables the many and varied differences across organisations to develop innovative solutions to future problems.

Other highlights include a NIDA performance scripted by acclaimed playwright Dr Stephen Sewell in the Via Art component. Ground-breaking start-ups including Sound Scouts, Nano-X, BCAL Diagnostics and GenomeOne, along with the UNSW 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab, will also participate in a showcase in the Via Innovation component.

What: SPHERE 2017 International Symposium

When: 22-23 November 2017

Where: City Recital Hall, Sydney

For the full program, click here.