We caught up with Dr Densearn Seo, CEO & Co-Founder, Gravida Health.

Dr Densearn Seo

Dr Densearn Seo

CEO & Co-Founder, Gravida Health, Medical Director, Drop Bio Health, CHIA Examination Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), AIDH

1. How did you get interested in IT/health informatics/digital health?

I developed an interest in IT at a young age. That led to the completion of a certificate in web page development at a local university whilst still in high school. My clinical experience in Malaysia helped in shaping my immediate appreciation of the Australian healthcare system upon my arrival in the land down under.

I was fascinated with the digital transformation of healthcare service delivery. As one of the first wave of medical practitioners in committees facilitating an EMR rollout, I had a bird’s eye view of how seemingly simple digitisation in healthcare improved workflows and patient outcomes.

However, it was not until a couple years later that it became more apparent to me that there is still more to be done, especially at the consumer level which includes outpatients and primary care settings.

The commitment to create more well-governed infrastructures with interoperability in mind and making more sense out of available data were the reasons I got into digital health.

2. What have been your favourite aspects of working in this field?

My favourite things are bringing more value to the healthcare data that’s right in front of us and extracting useable data to bring more meaningful impact to humanity.

On a daily basis, clinicians rely on both clinical and non-clinical data to make informed clinical decisions. A lot of decision making, especially at a high level, relies heavily on data. Being in this niche field enables me to engage with individuals who are active on the ground level and those who are at the top (key decision makers) in building viable infrastructures to optimise our approach towards healthcare improvement and innovation. My contribution towards ensuring the data makes sense at all levels provides a sense of fulfillment as a clinician and digital health practitioner.

That is why I have enjoyed being a digital health practitioner, advocate and innovator over the past eight years and counting!

3. What motivated you to get involved with the CHIA Program?

I wanted to gain more knowledge in digital health and have the right tools for success. Back then, I had limited exposure to digital health endeavours and being a full-time clinician, it was the only place I could think of going to find my tribe.

As soon as I joined the CHIA program, I realised that there were many other peers speaking the same ‘lingo’ and wanting the same things in healthcare.

Having support that was readily accessible was really helpful. The motivation was to gain knowledge, but I was rewarded with the ability to contribute to the digital health community, participation in the networking opportunities at digital health events and the CHIA Alumni.

4. What was your experience like when completing CHIA?

I obtained CHIA in 2020 as I wanted to better equip myself with knowledge that complements my other pursuits in Healthcare Management and Public Health.

CHIA provides one with a general overview of what it takes to enhance the interpretation of health information, with emphasis on building infrastructures that connects the dots i.e. how to get more out of what we have and work together to bring more meaningful improvements to the healthcare ecosystem.

I enjoyed the self-directed nature of CHIA. Having said that, a number of us formed a virtual group to discuss topical questions related to the curriculum. I found the support from others completing CHIA at the same time crucial. I realised there are many others who are also motivated to bring about positive changes and that is when I fell in love with the digital health community. The opportunity to interact with other like-minded individuals whilst sharing our healthcare visions was truly refreshing as it provided me with a more immersive learning experience.

5. What benefits have you experienced after completing your CHIA credential?

As described earlier, immediate benefits include enhanced interpretation of health information and making it more meaningful for our healthcare system.

It provides means of connecting with your tribe and understanding who the key stakeholders are. CHIA sets you apart by arming you with the fundamental skillset to back yourself and gives you a stepping stone moving forward.

CHIA has been a useful and versatile credential to add to my portfolio career. I have since been able to contribute to various aspects within the digital health space that goes beyond direct clinical care; from research to startups, consulting and policy making. Giving back through my involvement within the CHIA Examination Development Advisory Committee also provided me with an avenue to actively nurture the development of our future health informatics community, healthcare ecosystem and beyond.

Back when I completed CHIA, it was largely seen as a nice to have. Now, CHIA is often listed as an essential requirement for roles. I’d like to think that I was part of the movement that brought about this key transformational change to the Australian healthcare landscape.

6. Any advice to others interested in completing the certification?

CHIA is a great first step towards gaining the foundations of health informatics; from what one can potentially bring to the area to what one can make use of within the healthcare ecosystem.

The network you will be establishing as soon as you join is essential to tap into. The guidebook and curriculum are a lot to cover. So, networking with those who have similar interests helps break the curriculum into digestible contents. Thus, helping one to understand the content at a deeper level in less time.

If you are contemplating on whether to embark on this journey, then I would urge you to give CHIA a go as it could potentially be a rewarding and life-changing decision, on an individual level and beyond. Everyone in the digital health community is friendly and helpful, so if there are any doubts or if you’re merely seeking for some advice, just reach out!