AEHRC Annual Report 2019 / 20

CSIRO’s Australian e-Health Research Centre today publishes our annual report for 2019-20. It provides an overview of the great work that our scientists, engineers and students have undertaken with our partners over the past 12 months.

Of course the 2019-20 year was somewhat overtaken by the COVID-19 global pandemic! However, our science was incredibly relevant to COVID-19 – so this gave us a great opportunity to contribute to Australia’s response. This included genomics to support the vaccine testing, data analytics to build data models with health agencies and a COVID-19 dashboard that is still being used around Australia.

Despite the COVID pandemic and our involvement in Australia’s response, the AEHRC continued to deliver on our projects to our stakeholders, partners and collaborators. As well as contributing to over 20 NHMRC and MRFF projects we are involved in, this year the AEHRC was a key contributor to the OUTBREAK MRFF Future Frontier. OUTBREAK is tackling antimicrobial resistance from a One Health perspective – which has given us more opportunities to work with CSIRO’s biosecurity teams as well as researchers from a range of other universities.

The past 12 months also saw the AEHRC develop a report on how we use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) across our projects and technologies. The AI and ML in Healthcare report provides 34 case studies demonstrating the wide range of AI technologies we use, as well as providing a useful primer on AI and ML.

Our annual report also highlights the platform technologies being developed by our five research groups along with the projects we’re undertaking with partners and collaborators. Some of the highlights include:

  • The AEHRC Health Services group worked with Queensland Hospitals on a mobile phone-delivered service for women with gestational diabetes, and with Western Australian Hospitals on a mobile phone approach to monitoring burns and wounds.
  • The AEHRC Health System Analytics group has worked with hospitals in Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria on data analytics projects to improve hospital service efficiencies – and with GP services around Australia to support the Commonwealth Healthcare Home Project.
  • The AEHRC Health Informatics group continues to work with the Australian Digital Health Agency on the National Clinical Terminology Service, and has been working with health systems in UK and elsewhere on similar services. AEHRC Health Informatics continues to work with Queensland Health on data analytics for cancer and antimicrobial resistance projects.
  • The AEHRC Biomedical Informatics group continues to partner in large national trials for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Cerebral Palsy to provide image analytics and biostatical analysis, to find new ways of diagnosing and monitoring these diseases.
  • The AEHRC Transformational Bioinformatics group continues to push the boundaries of cloud computing for data analytics on large collections of whole genome sequencing for diseases such as Motor Neuron Disease.

The AEHRC is both CSIRO’s digital health research program and an unincorporated joint venture with Queensland Health. We wouldn’t be able to undertake the research and development we do without the support of CSIRO, Queensland Health and all our other fabulous collaborators, customers, strategic partners and other stakeholders. A big thank you to everyone who has worked with us over the past 12 months.

Finally, a big thank you to all of the staff and students of the AEHRC for another great year!