28 September 2022
Always interested in the intersection between computing and other domains, like chemistry, Dr David Hansen entered the health and medical research sector through bioinformatics. At the time, he was working internationally but returned to Queensland in 2004 to join the Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.
As David explains, the AEHRC – a joint venture between CSIRO and Queensland Health – plays an important role in the digital transformation of our health system.
“We are Australia’s largest digital health research centre, developing innovative technology and digitally enabled services to help improve health care across the country. AEHRC is a 2003 ‘Smart State’ success story that has grown well beyond its original aims,” David said.
“Not many people realise AEHRC now has 120 digital health professionals, two-thirds of them in Brisbane, working on some of our most pressing digital health challenges and collaborating nationally and internationally on major research programs.
“Our capabilities in areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning, interoperability and genomics mean we are well-placed to help create a broader reaching, more equitable, precise and efficient health system in Australia.”
Originally from the Sunshine Coast, David did his PhD at the Australian National University before living and working overseas. His career highlights include developing software used to publish the first human genome sequence when he was the research and development lead at LION Bioscience in the United Kingdom. “That was an exciting time when we began to see the enormous potential of genomics and digital technology to improve health outcomes,” he said.
David serves on several boards, including as the Vice Chair of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health board. He has been part of the Health Translation Queensland (HTQ) board for two years.
“HTQ is the only place where the Queensland leaders of academia, research, hospital and health services can sit around the same table and take a state-wide approach to the collaboration needed to progress translational research in Queensland.”
“I look forward to what we can achieve through the HTQ digital working group, for example. Queensland is the place to leverage what we can digitally in healthcare – it’s the only state with a state-wide electronic medical record for its hospitals.
“HTQ can also address how we work together in Queensland to increase national health and medical research funding coming to the state, so our talented researchers get the support they need to continue vital research,” David said.
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