CSIRO and Queensland Government team up to save lives

Queensland Health and the CSIRO sign a five-year agreement extending the Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC).

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the $25 million joint venture agreement would see the AEHRC continue to develop and deliver evidence-based digital innovations in an increasingly digitally enabled health system.

“With increasing digital disruption, Queensland’s Advancing Health 2026 strategy expects that the majority of clinical systems in our health service will be digital by 2026,” Mr Dick said.

“This partnership will continue to support that transition through scientifically validated digital solutions and supporting our aim of embedding innovation and research at the core of the Queensland Health system.”

The funding was announced at this week’s Australian e-Health Research Colloquium 2017.

Since its inception in 2003, the AEHRC has developed into a full health and biomedical informatics research program with expertise across electronic health data capture and processing, health data analytics, biomedical imaging, genomics, mobile and tele-health research.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said from conducting Australia’s largest tele-health trial of home monitoring in aged care to developing smartphone apps and technology for cardiac patients, scientists at the Australian e-Health Research Centre had shown how technology could be used to improve health outcomes and save lives.

“As part of our Strategy 2020, we created a new Health Business Unit dedicated to delivering excellent science that helps Australia navigate major health challenges such as an ageing population, diabetes and obesity,” Dr Marshall said.

The AEHRC team has doubled in size since 2012, growing to 80 engineers and scientists, with 50 based staff in Brisbane and a further 30 staff across Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.

AEHRC CEO David Hansen said it was an exciting time to be involved in digital health.

“The adoption of digital technologies in healthcare coupled with the increasing digital connectedness of Australians means we can really start the transition from a reactive to a preventative health system,” Dr Hansen said.

“The continued reduction in cost of genomics is another piece of the puzzle. The AEHRC has a unique set of capabilities and expertise which makes us well placed to be a core partner in managing disruption to the way healthcare is currently provided.”

Over the past five years the AEHRC has:

  • completed a world first randomised controlled trial of mobile health;
  • provided evidence basis for hospital performance targets;
  • conducted multiple national tele-health trials;
  • licenced technologies nationally and internationally to enable the use of standard clinical terminology in electronic health data;
  • developed clinical insights from advanced imaging in diseases such as Cerebral Palsey and Alzheimer’s disease, and
  • developed advanced genome analysis pipelines.

 

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