CEO Emma Hossack discusses MSIA & government engagement, sharing by default, and Alcidion’s partnership with Leidos

A recent Health Services Daily article titled “Third degree with MSIA CEO Emma Hossack,” provides insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the Australian medical software sector, from the perspective of Emma Hossack, CEO of the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA).

Emma Hossack has been instrumental in advocating for the local Australian health tech sector amidst a landscape dominated by major global players. Despite the medical software sector’s lack of ‘political clout’, Emma Hossack has given MSIA a significant voice in health policy discussions.

“Ms Hossack is the person in the middle, trying to articulate to the government some important but subtle points like, if they crash certain vendors by going too fast, they could easily send the system backwards substantively.”

The article highlights the impending transformation in healthcare data sharing, mandated by the government, which presents both challenges and opportunities for local vendors. With the government pushing for greater interoperability and real-time data exchange, many vendors face the daunting task of transitioning from legacy server-bound platforms to cloud-based solutions. Ms Hossack’s role involves articulating the complexities of this transition to policymakers, ensuring that the government’s reform agenda aligns with the sector’s capabilities and needs.

“Enabling a new environment built on international standards, with an improved identification engine, open APIs and cloud-based architecture is not technically difficult. What is challenging is responding to this in addition to multiple requests for significant infrastructure changes without due engagement and safe timelines.”

Emma Hossack emphasises the importance of realistic sequencing, tighter coordination between policy and implementation teams, and sustainable business models to support industry reform efforts effectively. She also reflects on the growth of successful collaborations between industry and government that blossomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring the potential for meaningful partnerships in advancing digital health innovation. 

“I’m excited to see the Defence [healthcare system] project [JP2060] which involves a number of MSIA members including MediRecords, Alcidion and Coviu – a smart move which should be watched carefully as a model for how information can be exchanged purposefully in a very specific environment. It could well be the model for the national HIEs.”

The article concludes with Ms Hossack’s perspectives on the government’s vision for a National Health Information Exchange (HIE) and the lessons learned from past initiatives. She stresses the need for nuanced approaches that leverage local expertise and address unique Australian healthcare requirements, cautioning against the pitfalls of adopting one-size-fits-all solutions from overseas vendors.

See the full article from HSD here