University of Sydney at forefront of digital health research

13 April 2018

The University of Sydney is a lead partner in the new Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC) announced today by Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation.

A group of people outside a sandstone building

The core Digital Health CRC team with Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation, following the launch.

The Centre is one of only four Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) funded in this round, with the federal government announcing an investment of $55 million to total $111 million in funding and $118 million in-kind from government and industry partners over seven years.

The Centre aims to improve the health of Australians and advance the economy in a first-of-its-kind digital health partnership which will operate through collaborative research and development programs involving Australian and international industry and academic partners.

Participants include 40 commercial and government organisations operating across the health, aged care and disability sectors; 24 established and start-up technology, advisory and investment companies; and 16 Australian universities. The Centre has the support of both the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals industry growth centre (MTP Connect).

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney Dr Michael Spence said the University was pleased to be at the forefront of such an exciting development.

Multidisciplinary research collaboration is at the core of what we do and industry is vital to seeing these successes, particularly in areas like digital health which encompass all players from governments through to service providers and consumers.
Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Professor Tim Shaw from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor Adam Elshaug, Co-Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy – both of the University’s multidisciplinary Charles Perkins Centre – are named lead investigators in the CRC.

Professor Shaw is the Health System Lead for the Centre and will also oversee education and training programs in his role as director of capacity building in eHealth. Together they will drive the research program focused on better value care, quality, access and safety.

“This is an exciting grant as it brings industry and provider partners together to allow us to transform many aspects of healthcare delivery at scale, and improve health outcomes by improving the efficiency of the health system,” said Professor Shaw.

The research programs underpinning the Centre include:

Enabling information discovery and application

Identifying and managing health risk

Better value, quality, access & safety

Consumer empowerment and positive behavior.

“The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre will enable research and development at a scale that assures national and international impact through the four interlocking research programs,” Professor Elshaug explained.

The Digital Health market is expected to grow internationally at over 25.9 percent per annum to reach $379 billion by 2024.

The Centre’s founding premise is that digital health solutions have the potential to improve people’s health and wellbeing, reduce waste in the health system and build businesses and jobs in the rapidly growing digital health sector.

“Timing is everything,” said CEO-designate, David Jonas. “Australia has pioneered many health advances. If we act now, the Australian health industry can be pioneers in digital health transformation and leaders in digital health technology. If we wait a few years, the term ‘Digital Health’ will be synonymous with health, and Australian industry will have missed the boat.”

Michelle Blowes

Media and PR Adviser (Health)

Rachel Fergus

Central Media Manager

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