181 reasons to celebrate SFT-22

22 November 2022

The 2022 Successes and Failures in Telehealth Conference (SFT-22) has left another glowing impression for over 180 delegates who met in Brisbane for three days of workshops, presentations, poster displays, panel sessions, networking receptions, and an industry trade exhibition.  This year it was time to regroup, share experience, inspire, network, and drive the expansion of telehealth and virtual care. The SFT-22 was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 9-11 November 2022. The annual conference is an initiative of The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health (UQ-COH), run in partnership with the Australian Telehealth Society (ATHS).

The Welcome to Country ceremony by Jahmarley Dawson (an emerging Aboriginal leader who lives in Brisbane where he is linked to the Turrbal People through bloodline connection and kinship ties) was such a heart-warming experience. Jahmarley shared with us stories from generations, song, and an opportunity to learn a few words in the traditional language. Our keynotes were also impressive with Distinguished Professor Richard Osborne (Swinburne University) describing the fundamental skills of digital and health literacy, reminding us to keep the ‘end user’ at the forefront, and about the importance of sustainability. Liz Hay and Karol Petrovska (NSW Ministry of Health) co-presented an overview of the NSW virtual care strategy. This experience resonates with reports from other state health departments who are seriously investing in strategy development, funding reform, and drivers which encourage new models of care. No doubt it brings up a range of complex issues, but “we’re moving into unchartered territory, and we need to be pragmatic and creative”.

The SFT-22 conference offered a broad range of themes thanks to the quality of the abstracts submitted - in the main categories of clinical reports and case studies and scientific reports. There were sessions to suit the interests of every delegate – ranging from the COVID-19 response, primary care, chronic disease management, aged care, allied health, remote patient monitoring, education and training and technical innovations (the list goes on). The UQ-COH delivered two of their telehealth workshops on Day 1, which were almost over-subscribed. There was an introductory course on telehealth (Telehealth 101) which was perfect for delegates just new to the field, and a workshop on the use of biostatistics in telehealth evaluation.

A selection of short papers from the SFT-22 conference was also published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare (JTT) and are now downloadable (free of charge) for a limited time. Click here to access the JTT short papers.

The Annual General Meeting of the ATHS resulted in the reinstatement of nominated committee members, and the appointment of a new treasurer (congratulations to Sharryn Gannon). The AGM also ignited constructive debate about the goals of the ATHS from a national perspective, raising some innovative ideas which will certainly appeal to general and corporate members. The ATHS has completed a revamp of their website and plans are in place to offer exclusive member subscriber services through their website.

The evening dinner reception on the rooftop of the Gallery of Modern Art was a welcome change in scenery, where delegates would sit back and relax, whilst taking in the magnificent night views of the CBD and Brisbane River.  The atmosphere was exactly what we had hoped for – no formalities, just an opportunity for delegates to socialise, plan collaborations, share a joke, and laugh the night away.

Congratulations to the SFT-22 Best Paper award winners

All abstracts and papers were judged by an international peer-review committee. A set criterion was used to score all submissions.

  1. Clinical reports and case studies
    • Kasey Biggar - COVID-19: A silver lining for birth education in the country
    • Kelly Teagle - Barriers and breakthroughs in tele-menopause care
    • Amelia Haigh - The Virtual Rural Generalist Service: An innovative telehealth model to support health provision in rural and remote communities
  2. Scientific reports
    • Keshia De Guzman - Costs to the Medicare Benefits Schedule for general practitioner consultations: A time-series analysis
    • Monica Taylor - Digital health experiences reported in chronic disease management: An umbrella review of qualitative studies
    • Renee Cook - Digital divide or digital exclusion: Do allied health practitioner assumptions’ drive telehealth use?
    • Felipe Retamal-Walter - Development and preliminary validation study of an observational tool to measure engagement in telepractice early intervention
Kasey Biggar receiving an SFT-22 Best Paper award
Monica Taylor receiving an SFT-22 Best Paper award
Keshia De Guzman receiving an SFT-22 Best Paper award
Felipe Retamal-Walter receiving an SFT-22 Best Paper award
Renee Cook receiving an SFT-22 Best Paper award


The SFT-22 Organising committee are grateful for the support of our sponsors, exhibitors, and supporters: PEXIP (Gold Sponsor); COVIU; HCP; Propell Health; Belgravia eHealth; Telstra Health; ATHS; The University of Queensland; and Clinical Excellence Queensland (Queensland Health).

The SFT conferences are hosted annually by UQ-COH in partnership with the ATHS. We thank the SFT-22 organising committees and the international peer-reviewers for their substantial efforts. We also thank Iceberg Events and OneVision for their technical expertise and administration of the SFT-22 conference.

Get ready for SFT-23

We are always excited to announce plans for the next SFT conference. The 2023 Successes and Failures in Telehealth (SFT-23) conference will be held in Adelaide, Australia during November 2023 (specific dates TBA). Watch this space.

Sponsorship Opportunities will soon be available for SFT-23, and the Call for Abstracts will be issued in February 2023.  Industry partnerships are vital for the success and viability of our conference. Please visit the SFT website or contact the UQ-COH directly to secure your position in the conference.

Are you a member of the ATHS? Did you know that very member of the ATHS receives a special discounted rate for the SFT conference? If you are not a member, you can join the ATHS today.

Contact the UQ-COH. The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health offers a broad range of consultancy services: including telehealth training, customised telehealth workshops; telehealth reports and evaluations; expert advice on the planning and delivery of telehealth services; and academic peer-support.  Further information is available at the UQ-COH website.

The Centre for Online Health team at SFT-22