Informatics and eHealth

Description and aims

This stream addresses the need for up-to-date information and knowledge management and exchange in the diagnosis and management chronic illness and, increasingly, co-existing multiple systems morbidity.  We aim to optimise the interoperability and quality of EHR data to support care, quality improvement and health services research. A sociotechnical & citizen-centred framework will guide the development, Implementation and evaluation.

Key current research and development areas
·         Convergent building blocks and infrastructure

These include standards and benchmarks for data, information systems, software applications, standard operating procedures, clinical and managerial protocols, change management and governance structures to support learning health organisations and networks. 

·         Convergent citizen-centred eHealth tools & things

These include software applications to contribute to the Internet of Things (IoT).Legally, “things” are “inextricable mix of hardware, software, data and service”. Examples may be wireless devices to detect and monitor activities and physiological functions, environmental quality or food safety. 

·         Citizen engagement, collaboration and convergence

A digital citizen uses information and communication technology to engage in society, politics, and government participation. The key concept here is that it is most efficient and effective at the local community and facility levels. However, the governance and accountability needs to link upwards to meso- and macro-organisations at regional, jurisdictional and national levels.

·         Convergence and integrated health services & information in local neighbourhoods

Digital data from EHRs of health services in local neighbourhoods form the core of all research and development program. The local neighbourhood with its local hospital and general practice and primary care services is the most relevant and logical unit of analysis (denominator) for health services and population health research. Observational and measurement data in EHRs are spatiotemporal; optimising their use often require collection of more specific complementary quantitative and qualitative data. 

Key partners

This research is conducted in partnership with primary health networks, local health districts and non-government organisations locally and globally within the auspices of the WHO Collaborating Centre on eHealth.

Stream lead

Teng Liaw leads the informatics and eHealth stream.  He is also the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre (eHealth).