The future of digital health in Australia received a shot in the arm yesterday as Flinders University launched its new digital health research centre at its Tonsley research and innovation hub.
The Flinders Digital Health Research Centre is supported by the Premier’s Research and Industry Fund provided by the South Australian Government, and Cisco Systems Australia Pty Ltd under the Cisco Digital Health Initiative.
It is being jointly led by leading Australian digital health experts, Professor Anthony Maeder and Professor Trish Williams – who both left leading edge research programs at Western Sydney University and Edith Cowan University to take up new Digital Health Systems Chairs at Flinders.
Professor Maeder said Digital Health is one of the most exciting areas in healthcare and has incredible potential to improve health services and drive healthcare reform across Australia, especially for the country’s ageing population.
“Healthy ageing is critical to the South Australian and national agendas,” said Professor Maeder. “The Centre will initially focus efforts on digital health projects that enable smart living, leveraging new ICT technologies to enable new health services and realise new models of care delivery.”
A groundbreaking collaboration that unites Flinders’ faculties of Science & Engineering and Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, the Centre will also work closely with the already established Medical Device Research Institute to drive new digital health developments at Tonsley.
Flinders University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint said it will provide expertise, innovation and leadership to ensure Flinders achieves national and international recognition as a premier institution for Digital Health Systems and Technologies research.
“Working closely with industry partners such as Cisco Systems Australia Pty Ltd, the Centre will foster an alliance between the university and the global digital health industry that will benefit all Australians,” he said.
Professor Williams said Tonsley’s emerging health-tech precinct was perfectly placed to drive health innovation.
“Flinders at Tonsley’s powerful combination of academic and training institutions, established global companies and start-ups and carefully curated research and industry networks makes for an exceptionally collaborative and innovative environment,” she said.
The launch included an opening address by the Chancellor of Flinders University, Mr Stephen Gerlach AM, followed by a speech by Ms Katrine Hildyard MP (representing the Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill) and an address by Mr Reg Johnson, General Manager Education for Cisco Systems Australia Pty Ltd.