The School of Computing and Information Systems at Melbourne has an extensive interest in all areas of health informatics and digital health.
Our expertise includes:
- How to plan and manage health IT systems
- Advanced data analytics techniques for health care and medical research
- Supporting public health through mobile apps and wearable sensing.
We have the world-leading expertise to design, develop, implement and evaluate digital technology in the health sector. Whatever your concept or challenge in using information and communication technologies, we can work with you to optimise the benefits to patients and clients, clinicians and service managers, researchers and policy makers.
Our research underpins teaching at the University of Melbourne in the Master of Information Systems (Health), and the Graduate Certificate of Health Informatics and Digital Health. Through our PhD program we are actively training the next generation of industry and research leaders in this field.
We focus on health informatics and digital health across the School’s research areas:
Health data analytics
Health data – including observational data collected in clinical care, administrative reporting data, and personal sensor-derived data – is voluminous, diverse, and complex, creating tremendous opportunities to gain insight into disease, its progression, and best personalised treatments. Data mining and machine learning algorithms that are designed specifically for the health context are key to supporting clinical decision making, building predictive models, and planning care.
Personal technologies such as smartphones, wearable sensors and activity trackers promise to revolutionise health care by empowering consumers, reducing the burden on health systems and emphasising preventative care. Inexpensive portable technologies can detect when help is needed and then deliver interventions including psychoeducation, social support and behaviour change support, in real time. When developing consumer-facing technologies, understanding user needs and involving users in design is particular important to transform service delivery to be more patient and client centred.
Assoc Prof George Buchanan, Associate Professor
Assoc Prof Reeva Lederman, Associate Professor
Dr Greg Wadley, Senior Lecturer
Dr Jenny Waycott, Senior Lecturer
IT systems processes and management
Much health care and health research happens in hospitals, community health and aged care organisations and other multifaceted settings where diverse people have diffuse responsibilities for dealing with a wealth of data sources, both formal and informal, increasingly digital. Work in this area aims to make sense of these multiple sources of data to provide quality, timely information to improve health outcomes. Research can enhance data quality management, data integration, data mining, human-computer interaction and workflow in existing health information systems and during the planning and implementation of new systems.
Projects in this area examine the complex sociotechnical interplay of humans and systems. They focus on real-world problems to provide insight and support for processes such as bed and roster management, patient admission, handover, discharge and referral, outpatient and telehealth services, and reducing adverse events.
Reeva Lederman is a Chief investigator on two NHMRC projects, which commenced in 2018, and supported by a total of $2.7 m of funds. These projects, conducted with eOrygen, aim to provide online support for young people suffering from psychosis and depression. This work involves a long term RCT to test a unique system design which combines online psychoeducational modules with social networking facilities and the support of human therapists. This design will provide a new model for effective online care.
ARC Discovery Project
Kathleen Gray is a Chief Investigator in Genioz (Genomics: National Insights of Australians). Since 2015 nearly 3,000 Australians have participated in this multidisciplinary study of public understanding, experiences and expectations of the direct-to-consumer personal genomic testing services that are available on the Internet. This project is producing unbiased, contextualised information to help Australians decide whether to undertake personal genomic testing or not; the implications of having their personal genomic data owned and managed by trans-border testing companies; and how useful their genomic information can be for self-knowledge about health, ancestry and lifestyle.
We bring a wide range of research approaches to health informatics and digital health. Our leading experts include:
Assoc Prof Reeva Lederman
Reeva has researched the use of IT systems to support health for nearly twenty years. Her interests include large systems analysis in the hospital sector, the use of social networks to provide peer support, information presentation for community health information, online therapy for mental health, and online peer communities for health professionals. Reeva leads the People and Information research theme in CIS.
Prof Karin Verspoor
Trained as a computational linguist, Karin’s current research primarily focuses on extracting information from clinical texts and the biomedical literature using machine learning methods to enable biological discovery and clinical decision support. In clinical contexts, it has been estimated that 80% of relevant data is unstructured and hence strategies for extracting key information from such resources is important. She has a keen interest in the use of controlled vocabularies and ontologies to facilitate standardisation of medical knowledge for integration of diverse data sources. Karin is the Deputy Director of the University’s Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre.
Dr Greg Wadley
Personal digital technologies are in everyday use by younger people, and Dr Wadley has been investigating how to leverage mobile devices and virtual reality for youth mental wellbeing. Greg has also designed technologies to support people negotiating diabetes, pregnancy, chronic pain, sedentary work and smoking cessation.
Assoc Prof George Buchanan
Medical devices are often used under intense work pressures. Small slips can lead to dangerous or lethal consequences, even when professionals take all reasonable precautions. George is a world-leader in mobile computing who is investigating how to reduce errors when using medical devices, and how to create devices that ward staff can adapt to enhance patient safety and increase health outcomes.
Associate Professor Kathleen Gray
High quality research and teaching in digital health rests on the discipline of health informatics - its methods, tools, standards and evidence. Kathleen works to incorporate these in the design of many clinical, technical and community projects. Areas of current research are: how patients’ and citizens’ use of networked technologies contributes to personal and public health; how the digital health workforce is evolving; how health IT initiatives can be evaluated in terms of health system performance. Since 2015 Kathleen has directed the University of Melbourne Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre.
Our other experts include: