Actuaries Digital Health Editor Zachary Tirrell previews the exciting program of the upcoming Future of Health Seminar, to be held virtually from 23-24 March 2021.

Saturday 13 March 2021 will mark one year since the National Cabinet was formed to ramp up the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this pandemic, the role of healthcare and its influence across the economy and our way of life has become front and centre.

As a result, today’s expectation of the future of health may be fundamentally different from those discussed at the 2019 Future of Health Seminar (FOHS). However, many of the themes discussed 15 months ago remain relevant and current, such as:

  • How does our healthcare system operate? – we have seen that the Australian healthcare system has performed well under stress and can rise to the occasion;
  • What is the role of data? – there has been an explosion of new valid use-cases for data, notably the mandatory QR codes that allow for contact tracing to maintain minimal community infections;
  • Ethics and community expectations – particularly those surrounding vaccine distribution schemes and an ultimate ‘return to normal’; and
  • the value of PHI

Read more about the 2019 Future of Health Seminar

See a summary of the FOHS and plenary sessions written by Brendan Pon, Lulu Wang, Nora Lam and Zachary Tirrell

The line-up of the this year’s FOHS promises to add to the ongoing conversation about emerging challenges facing the private and public health industries.  

One of the aspects of the FOHS that makes it unique is its appeal to both actuaries and non-actuaries alike. This appeal is largely associated with the diverse array of presenters at the FOHS, that includes accomplished actuaries, research scientists and industry leaders.

The current early bird registration options for the FOHS present a terrific opportunity for prospective attendees to receive a discount off the full registration price. Closing on Friday 5 March, the early bird discount is available to Members, non-Members, Student Members and attendees under 25. There is also a special offer for registrants with an income lower than $70,000 p.a.

Click here to register.

What else makes the FOHS compelling?

The topic of mental health in Plenary 1 will build on the Institute’s Mental Health Green Paper, and will appeal to actuaries working in a wide array of practice areas.

Plenary 2 will include a discussion of risk equalisation internationally and in Australia. It will also include an update on the current review into risk equalisation.

Data in health analytics has been at the front and centre at previous editions of the FOHS, and this year is no different. Plenary 3 will explore how health analytics can help both public and private organisations influence people to change their behaviours in search of better health.

Plenary 4 will include a view on the characteristics of a great health system and how to design a ‘healthier health industry’. This session will feature Dr. Stephanie Allen, Global Healthcare Leader from Deloitte and Henry Wei, Senior Staff Clinical Specialist from Google.

Overview of the program

Plenary 1 – Mental Health, Private Health, Public Problem? – 2.00pm-3.00pm, Tuesday 23 March 2021
Featuring Andrew Matthews (Principal, Finity), Nick Stolk (Principal, Finity), Dr. Dana Kai Bradford (Principal Research Scientist, Neurodevelopment and Plasticity, CSIRO Australian eHealth Research Centre) and Sue Freeman (Senior Consultant, Finity).

With one in six Australians receiving mental health prescriptions (a number likely to be further swelled by COVID-19 lockdowns) mental health is a big health issue, a big policy issue and major challenge for insurers.

This session will build on the Institute’s Mental Health Green Paper while providing insight:

  • into current practices;
  • barriers that need to be overcome; and
  • where the industry would like to be.

Plenary 2 – PHI- Steps towards Sustainability: Risk Equalisation Reform and the Dutch Cure – 3.00pm-4.30pm, Tuesday 23 March 2021
Featuring Judith Houtepen (Consulting Actuary, Milliman [Netherlands]) and Jamie Reid (Finity). Chaired by Stuart Rodger (Non-Executive Director).

The falling participation rate is a big problem for insurers and for insurance affordability generally. Reforming risk equalisation is a key part of the solution, and we need to think widely to create the best new options.

This session will:

  • look at the Dutch Risk Equalisation system and consider its strengths and weaknesses; and
  • identity insights for Australian PHI.


Plenary 3 – Better data, better health? – 12.00pm-1.00pm, Wednesday 24 March 2021
Featuring Rhod McKensey (CEO, Honeysuckle Health) and Louise Fisher (Director, Health Systems Integration Monitoring Evaluation, NSW Health). Chaired by Ash Evans (Principal, Taylor Fry)

Health analytics offer the revolutionary possibility of better health outcomes for all. This plenary session will look at how health analytics can help both public and private organisations influence people to change their behaviours in search of better health.

Plenary 4 – Designing a healthier health industry – 1:00pm-2:45pm, Wednesday 24 March 2021
Featuring Dr. Stephanie Allen (Global Healthcare Leader, Deloitte) and Henry Wei (Google Senior Staff Clinical Specialist, Google). Chaired by Karl Niemann (APRA).

If you had a clean slate and were tasked to design a new health system, where would you start? In this session a panel of experts discuss the characteristics of a great health system, what is happening overseas, what’s getting in the way of us developing that system and how reform could change our lives.

Registration options

The early bird registration price of $150 for Members, $200 for Non-Members, and $80 for ‘low income’ registrants, Student Members, and anyone under 25 offers great value for the FOHS.

Find out more and register now for the Future of Health Seminar.

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