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Health Research Digital Ecosystem Project

Health Research Digital Ecosystem Project

Digital technologies play a significant role in delivering robust and effective health care systems. Strong digital ecosystems that allow safe and appropriate data sharing between clinicians, patients, researchers, and health administrators support better health care, research translation, and financial and operating performance.

The Health Translation Queensland (HTQ) Health Research Digital Ecosystem Project was established to map and describe the health research digital ecosystem in Queensland.

The Health Research Digital Ecosystem Capability Statement, enables stakeholders to understand how they can navigate the digital ecosystem to share and access relevant research materials, to improve health care for Queenslanders. This will drive health care value by supporting collaboration and data sharing between health and research organisations.

The statement also supports future planning, enabling the strengths, needs and investment opportunities in Queensland’s health and medical research to be identified, prioritised and implemented more effectively.


The HTQ Health Research Digital Ecosystem Project built on Queensland Health’s existing work and that of the key digital health research groups active within the HTQ partnership.

As part of the Unleashing the potential: an open and equitable health system report, Queensland Health has identified the need to develop an enhanced analytics and data linkage capacity, supported by a contemporary data access governance framework, to enable a cohesive approach to the effective use of health data and intelligence. Ultimately, laying the foundations for a learning health care system will enable improved health policy response, sustainable service and workforce planning and better experience and outcomes associated with clinical care provision.

The Chief Clinical Information Officer, Queensland Health in collaboration with eHealth Queensland, undertook preliminary work to map key data users and data flows supported within the current Queensland Health digital health ecosystem. This highlighted the need to better understand the intersections with the broader digital ecosystem in Queensland, and capability to advance data-driven health and medical research opportunities.


Health Translation Queensland led the project, which leveraged the digital talent and unique capabilities of the digital health ecosystem in Queensland, including our statewide Integrated electronic Medical Record (ieMR).

The HTQ Health Research Digital Ecosystem Project team brought together experts from Queensland Health, The University of Queensland's Queensland Digital Health Centre (QDHeC), and CSIRO’s Australian e-Health Research Centre (CSIRO AEHRC). Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Film and Screen School of Creative Practice developed a short explainer video to present the findings of the project.

The project team was advised by HTQ’s Digital Advisory Group, which was formed to leverage and enhance Queensland’s digital ecosystem. The group consists of representatives from the HTQ Partnership and other digital experts.

The project was sponsored by Queensland Health’s Prevention Division.


The Health Research Digital Ecosystem Capability Statement brought together experts from Queensland Health, CSIRO’s AEHRC and The University of Queensland’s Queensland Digital Health Centre (QDeHC). QUT’s Film and Screen (School of Creative Practice) was engaged to develop an explainer video for the project.


  • Dr David Hansen, CEO
  • Dr Ides Wong, Program Manager
  • Dr Sankalp Khanna, Team Leader-Health Intelligence AEHRC
  • Dr Naomi Stekelenburg, Communications Advisor


  • Associate Professor Clair Sullivan, Director
  • Jodie Austin, Clinical Informatics Director
  • Josh McRae, Clinical Informatician
  • Colleen Clur, Communications and Engagement Manager

QUT Film and Screen School of Creative Practice

  • Dr Joe Carter, Lecturer and Study Area Coordinator
  • Paul Van Opdenbosch, Lecturer in Animation Research
  • Associate Professor Mark Ryan, Chief Investigator for Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC)
  • Tfer Newsome, Sound Editor and Associate Lecturer  

Health Translation Queensland

  • Claire McCafferty, Program Manager
  • Katrina Cutler, Communications and Engagement Manager

AEHRC is CSIRO’s digital health research program, driving innovations that enable the digital transformation of health care to improve health services for Australians. CSIRO’s AEHRC is partly funded by Queensland Health.

CSIRO’s AEHRC undertakes research and develops technologies that:

  • transform health systems with data and artificial intelligence
  • transform health care delivery with virtual care
  • improve health system efficiency and readiness with digital health
  • speed the transition to precision health.

CSIRO’s AEHRC works with many collaborators across the digital health care system to improve diagnosis and treatment across Australia and internationally.

CSIRO’s AEHRC delivers its research through the activities of 5 research groups:

  • Health Data Semantics and Interoperability Group
  • Health System Analytics Group
  • Health Services Group
  • Bioinfomedical Informatics Group
  • Transformational Bioinformatics Group.
About QDHeC

UQ’s Queensland Digital Health Centre (QDHeC) is made up of a transdisciplinary group of researchers across health, computer science, science, maths, and business who are working with industry partners to build our digital health care future.

Over the next 5 years, QDHeC will:

  • build a hub to facilitate health care information requests, educate on best digital health practices, support adoption and regulatory approval of industry-led digital solutions
  • accelerate and drive innovative digital health research linking UQ to industry
  • pioneer future data science in health using new digital technologies.

QDHeC is aiming to be an enduring, world-class virtual facility with a self-sustaining group of high-quality researchers who will generate new research capability and capacity. It will accelerate the translation of research findings into clinical practice to deliver better health outcomes and a more responsive and sustainable health care system. It will enable a single focus for digital health at UQ and a single ‘front door’ for their partners.

About eHealth Queensland

eHealth Queensland enables the delivery of health services by providing integrated digital strategy, solutions and services across Queensland’s public health system, with the aim of improving health care outcomes for all Queenslanders. eHealth Queensland is committed to progressing a digital agenda that will allow clinicians and health care workers to deliver the best and safest care possible to their patients regardless of their location.

Some of the initiatives and programs developed to enable this digital agenda include:

  • Establishing a Digital Health Branch and Chief Clinical Information Officer function – responsible for maintaining, supporting and enhancing critical applications that underpin clinical service delivery across Queensland Health through a blended workforce of health practitioners, technical specialists and clinical applications professionals, and providing strategic leadership to drive the digital health agenda.
  • Leading the digital hospitals agenda – Queensland is at the forefront of the digital hospital agenda in Australia with the integrated electronic Medical Record (ieMR) supporting Queensland Health’s Digital Health 2031 strategic vision. The next stage of the ieMR rollout will see the ieMR added to 5 hospitals in Metro North Hospital and Health Service: Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital, Redcliffe Hospital, Caboolture Hospital and Kilcoy Hospital, with the broader rollout to rural and regional sites within Hospital and Health Services that already have a major digital hospital with the ieMR (Sunshine Coast, West Moreton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Services) continuing.
  • Providing new models of virtual care – delivering the Queensland Virtual Hospital and Digital Front Door to provide Queenslanders with more ways to access care.
  • Enhancing rural and remote digital health care – increasing access to, and participation in, health care programs and services provided in rural and remote communities.
  • Investing in our people – since 2017, eHealth Queensland have sponsored Queensland Health staff to undertake the Certified Health Informaticians of Australasia (CHIA) program with the aim to build upon Queensland Health’s digital health workforce capacity and capability.
  • Advanced Analytics and Research Hub – developing a service to facilitate fit-for-purpose capability to support research and advanced analytics use cases, providing stakeholders with better tools to research and develop clinical improvements.
  • Engaging and collaborating with key stakeholders – continually engaging, representing and providing expert advice to key stakeholders and governance bodies to ensure digital solutions are aligned with statewide clinical priorities and focussed on improving patient outcomes.

This and more, is part of an ambitious agenda to transition Queensland Health to a world-class, digitally-enabled health system where the power of data and digital technology is used to improve quality of care, patient safety, system efficiency and productivity.

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