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Fujitsu releases Research Report into Health Reform

Survey Highlights Key Health Reform Agenda – Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Fujitsu Australia Limited

Sydney, December 01, 2009

Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, a leading provider of business, information technology and communications solutions, today released its latest research report into Electronic Health Records, revealing that alarmingly many Australians are not willing to take greater responsibility and control for their personal health outcomes and more Australians need to take ownership of their own health records.

The survey examined 5,600 Australians aged between 45 and 64 (Baby Boomers), which researched their attitudes towards their ownership of their own health outcomes and their awareness of Electronic Health Records. Over 40% of Baby Boomers identified they should take more responsibility of their health record but an additional 31% were unsure, because they did not really understand what this meant for them. About a quarter of respondents did not want to take any further responsibility for their own health, or health record.

Regarding taking control of personal health care records, over 60% of those surveyed did not want to take control of their record, as opposed to 38% who did want to take control. When we examined this further, less than 10% of Baby Boomers wanted to manage specific information into their health record. Results also identified that not many respondents understood what a health record was, and 26% had no idea who had access to their health record.

Highlights of the survey include:
Access to information on health - The first conclusion is that if people are going to take greater responsibility for their own health, there needs to be a different approach to providing quality information on health concerns. Today there is no single authoritative source to provide this information and the public’s thirst for knowledge on personal health topics is not being met.

Care from home – The second conclusion of the report identifies that if improvements in chronic illness management could be achieved in a home setting, this has the potential to improve well being and make a major positive impact in health budgets. Many care providers could invest in technologies to help people live at home longer.

Individual responsibility – The third conclusion highlights that while there is some acceptance amongst Baby Boomers that they should take more responsibility for their own health, this does not translate into a strong willingness to own or manage their own health record, because the concept is not widely understood and there are some concerns about the security of electronic information. This highlights both the gap and opportunity about building enthusiasm for and acceptance of electronic health records.

Over the next decade, Baby Boomers are likely to consume the bulk of Healthcare expenditure. If we are able, from a policy perspective, to encourage them to take more personal responsibility, focus on wellness, and proactive strategies for health then there is a chance the Health sector will be able to deliver an acceptable standard of care for all. If not, then the estimate 9% of GDP Australia spends on healthcare services will rise, whilst services will be degraded and standards of care compromised.

“Fujitsu believes that health reform must encompass the entire health eco-system,” states Martin North, Executive Director of Industry at Fujitsu Australia. “There is clearly demand to provide technology to enable smarter hospitals. There is opportunity for development of lean process change in for example, the management of an operating theatre. But it is also going to be essential to consider the community context – and Baby Boomers are right in the eye of the storm.”

Adoption of Electronic Health Record, if it requires Baby Boomers to step up, will require significant education and incentive. This suggests that strategies which are centred on the individual rather than the health professionals will take longer to gain momentum. However, extending the envelope of care into the community setting, shifting the agenda to prevention together with offering consumers access to information and the right monitoring environment offers a path to better health outcomes and a better use of resources.

It is feasible to provide a range of simple to use health monitoring equipment, wirelessly enabled to be able to pass data into the health system, to enable smart monitoring of individuals health status. If this is linked to information portals and peer benchmarking data, it is feasible to provide a supportive “wellness” environment together with tools and advice in the case of adverse indications. To work this must be simple to use, and become in essence part of a daily routine.

Sue Thomson, National Professional Development Manager, The Australian College of Health Service Executives (ACHSE) states “ACHSE has worked collaboratively with Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand for the past few years because we recognise the importance and the usefulness of this type of research in shaping future policy. It also plays an important role in informing the sector about how we can manage health services more effectively now and into the future. As the largest professional body representing health management in Australia, we commend Fujitsu for its commitment to this industry and in particular for its capacity to undertake this research role.”

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.4 trillion yen (US$47 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013.
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About Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand

Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand is a leading service provider of business, information technology and communications solutions. As the third largest ICT Company in the Australian and New Zealand marketplace, we partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions. From strategic consulting to application and infrastructure solutions and services, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand have earned a reputation as the single supplier of choice for leading Corporate News and government organisations. Fujitsu Australia Limited and Fujitsu New Zealand Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702).
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About the Fujitsu Baby Boomers Surveys

In the first year we showed that many had not thought about how they would pay for their healthcare needs in later life. Last year we examined their savings strategies and concluded that many were unlikely to be able to support themselves into old age because they had not saved enough, a trend exacerbated by the Global Financial Crisis and consequent fall in asset prices.
We surveyed 5,600 Baby-boomers (in tranches from 40-64) to understand their views of health records and their use of online services. We discussed our preliminary findings from this research with a number of Senior Health Professionals during a working session at the Australian College of Health Service Executives [i] Conference on the Gold Coast in August 2009. ACHSE is Australia's largest professional body representing health management and it aims to develop and foster excellence in health service management through education and ongoing professional development for existing and potential health service managers. As a result of this session, and a number of other discussions we have had across the sector including NEHTA – the National E-Health Transition Authority.
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Tracy Weller-McCormack

Phone: Phone: +61 2 9113 9225
Mobile: Mobile: +61 414 827 044
E-mail: E-mail:
Company:Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand
Marketing Manager

Date: 01 December, 2009
City: Sydney
Company: Fujitsu Australia Limited