Two individuals and one team from the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) have been recognised in the 2021 Brilliant Women in Digital Health, presented by Telstra Health.

Kath Feely
Parkville Precinct's Chief Allied Health Information Officer, Kath Feely
Dr Kudzai Kanhutu
Infectious diseases physician and Head of RMH@Home, Dr Kudzai Kanhutu
Dr Crystal Williams
Dermatologist and co-creator of the First Nations Dermatology Service, Dr Crystal Williams

Kath Feely and Dr Kudzai Kanhutu have been selected among the 25 individual award recipients from across Australia, while the RMH First Nations Dermatology Service received the team award. Kath Feely is the Chief Allied Health Information Officer at the Parkville Precinct, which includes the RMH.

She has been in the role since 2019 as part of implementing the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) across the Parkville Precinct. The EMR went live about a year ago.

“It’s really exciting to see what potential we have in digital health, given how it is really exponentially increasing the opportunities,” Kath said.

“From an Allied Health perspective, we are used to working in multidisciplinary teams which is what digital health is all about, we are problem solvers and lateral thinkers and we really work well on the whole with change. It is a really great group to start driving some of the change within organisations.”

Dr Kanhutu is an infectious diseases physician and Head of Unit for RMH@Home. Over her career she has played a key role in both expanding telehealth and the introduction of the EMR. She said the future of digital health “really feels boundless to me”.

“We have talked a lot for years about AI and your hologram and revolutions like that. For me, I feel like the revolutions are the ones that take something from a place of obscurity to making it feel just natural,” she said.

The First Nations Dermatology Service team that has been recognised includes co-creators Dr Crystal Williams and Dr Vanessa Morgan, dermatologist Dr Rebecca Dunn, Aboriginal hospital liaison officer Gabrielle Ebsworth, Telehealth program manager Barbara Ioppi and office manager Kate Scholtens.

Dermatologist and co-creator Dr Williams, of the Wiradjuri people of central NSW, said providing the service via telehealth meant they could support doctors and patients wherever they are, including GP clinics in real time for consultation.

“It is an extremely exciting innovative digital service and because of that it actually allows me to see patients nationwide regardless of where they are,” Dr Williams said. “Digital health has really allowed us to make dermatology more available to people, and certainly more available to people outside the cities where the specialists do tend to be huddled.”

Visit the Telstra Health website to ;earn more about the Brilliant Women in Digital Health Awards.

The painting behind Dr Williams is by Aboriginal artist Pollyanne Smith of the Pitjantjatjara people.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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