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Health and wellbeing - eDoctors, ePatients, eCarers: delivering timely, relevant, reliable, integrated information

Health and Wellbeing

The theme of eDoctors, ePatients, eCarers: delivering timely, relevant, reliable, integrated information includes a diverse range of projects.

Projects in this area include Breast Cancer Knowledge Online (BCKOnline), Smart Information Portals, Evaluation of Heart Health Online and electronic health records.   A number of these projects are also closely linked with themes in the Faculty’s social inclusion priority.

Key researchers from the faculty working in this area include Associate Professor Julie Fisher, Professor Frada Burstein, and Professor Sue McKemmish.


Breast Cancer Knowledge Online (BCKOnline): An intelligent user-sensitive portal to breast cancer knowledge online

Researchers: Prof Sue McKemmish, Prof Frada Burstein, Dr Kirsty Williamson, June Anderson, A/Prof Julie Fisher
Partners: BreastCare Victoria, Breast Cancer Advocacy Group
Centre: COSI
Funding: ARC Linkage 2002-2003
Project website:
Project outline: Customised, in-time access to information impacts significantly on the ability of women with breast cancer to make health and lifestyle decisions. Although there is a plethora of information resources available online for women with breast cancer and their families, research indicates dissatisfaction with its timeliness, relevance, format and quality. more...
With information and decision support needs varying according to disease stage, education, age, location and ethnicity, many online sites only cater for a homogenous mass audience. This project addressed the issue through analysing the diverse information needs of women with breast cancer and their families and using this analysis to assess and describe existing online resources in user-aware ways.

The project designed and prototyped a web-based user-sensitive portal, Breast Cancer Knowledge Online, capable of matching user-aware resource descriptions to user profiles in order to provide differentiated access to breast cancer resources available online. To date more than 70,000 people have visited the portal, with interest from other organisations in adopting the methodology. less...
Related Theme: Social inclusion - Designing IS and Information Infrastructure for All: Inclusive, User Sensitive Design
Key outcomes: A key outcome of the project is a user-sensitive portal for provision of breast-cancer knowledge on-line. It is driven by a specific metadata schema, proposed by the researchers, which was developed in partnership with breast-cancer survivors' community. Some key challenges for such portals development and sustainable management have been also identified.

Smart Information Portals: Meeting knowledge and decision support needs of healthcare consumers for quality online information

Researchers: Prof Frada Burstein, Prof Sue McKemmish, A/Prof Julie Fisher, Prof Jim Warren (University of Auckland)
Centre: COSI
Funding: ARC Discovery 2006-2008
Project website:
Project outline: Access to quality information is vital in empowering consumers to achieve better health outcomes. However, there are gaps between what consumers want and need and what current health websites and portals deliver, with information quality and reliability key concerns. more...
Building on the success of the Breast Cancer Knowledge Online Project, the Smart Information Portal (SIP) ARC Discovery project investigated how information portals can combine intelligent technologies and metadata-driven approaches to improve the health consumer’s information search. The SIP Project has further refined and extended the user sensitive design approach to the provision of healthcare information portals so that they may better reflect user information needs and values. less...
Related theme: Social inclusion - Designing IS and Information Infrastructure for All: Inclusive, User Sensitive Design
Key outcomes: Three case studies have been conducted to test the architectural principles. As the result, a Heart Health portal, a gateway for stress and depression information related to cardio-vascular conditions and BCKOnline-3 were developed. Two PhD projects focusing on personalisation and identification of the quality of health information on the internet are progressing successfully.

Evaluation of Heart Health Online: A program to assist GPs to manage depression and related illnesses in patients with coronary heart disease

Researchers: Dr C. Pier (Deakin Uni), Prof Leon Piterman, Prof Frada Burstein, A/Prof Julie Fisher, Prof Andrew Tonkin, Dr Britt Klein (Swinburne Uni), Prof Andrew Murphy (Clinical Science Institute, NUI, Galway, Ireland)
Centre: COSI
Funding: Beyond Blue
Project website:
Project outline: The specific aim of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of an internet-based intervention (Heart Health Online) delivered by GPs to manage depression, and related illnesses, in people with coronary heart disease (CHD). more...
The effectiveness of Heart Health Online plus usual care, delivered by GPs, will be compared to usual GP care alone, for improving psychological, behavioural and physiological risk factors in patients with CHD and co-morbid depression. It is hypothesised that Heart Health Online plus usual care, delivered by GPs, will be more effective than usual care alone for improving depression and other psychosocial and behavioural endpoints in patients with CHD and depression. It is also hypothesised that patients who receive Heart Health Online will demonstrate greater subsequent utilisation of health and mental health services relevant to their condition.

The broader aims of the study are to answer the following questions: a) What are the effects of GPs using electronic health resources to assist in their management of depression in patients with CHD, on clinical outcomes and cardiac risk? b) What impact does the use of these electronic resources, during the GP consultation, have on the doctor-patient relationship? less...
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Enhancing patient management and clinical systems in hospital ward settings using mobile, wireless technologies

Researchers: Dr L. Heslop (Monash University School of Nursing), Dr Linda Dawson, A/Prof. J. Fisher, Dr A. Howard (NEC) and Dr A. Rothfield (Southern Health)
Partners: NEC and Southern Health
Centre: CRIS
Funding: ARC Linkage 2004-2006
Project outline: Wireless networks, hand held devices and associated applications are key emerging technologies. This project investigated the implementation of wireless devices and applications for patient administration at Southern Health in two ward settings (neurology and neurosurgery) at Monash Medical Centre. more...
A wireless infrastructure was installed enabling clinical staff to conduct their rounds with notebook computers or PDAs at the patients' bedside. The research team assessed the acceptance of the new devices and applications by nursing and medical staff. Outcomes from the project included a set of guidelines and techniques for introducing and managing technology-enhanced patient administration and clinical systems. less...
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Electronic Health Records: Achieving an effective and ethical legal and recordkeeping framework

Researchers: Dr Livia Iacovino (, Dr D. Mendleson (Deakin University School of Law), Dr B. McSherry ( - Monash University Faculty of Law) and Mrs M. Paterson ( - Monash University Faculty of Law)
Centre: COSI
Funding: ARC Discovery Project: 2002-2004
Project outline: This project takes place in the context of recent proposals for a nationally coordinated distributed system of electronic health records. Without any systematic ethical and legal safeguards or recordkeeping framework, the application of new technologies for networking health records lacks social credibility. more...
This multidisciplinary study will provide a set of principles and standards relating to authenticity, ownership, access, privacy and confidentiality of doctor-patient communications in a networked environment, which, if implemented, will benefit patients and the medical community thus furthering the development of a more efficacious national health system. less...
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Developing a holistic framework for supporting contextual needs of clinicians in a hospital-based mobile information environment

Researchers: Dr Linda Dawson (, Dr Chris Ling, Dr Maria Indrawan, Dr Virginia Plummer (School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences), Dr Juanita Fernando (Academic Convenor BMedSc, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Chair, Health Sub-Committee, Australian Privacy Foundation)
Centre: DSSE
Funding: Pending
Project outline: Patient care in hospitals is improved by providing timely data at the point of care using mobile ICT. This project will contribute to improved patient care and clinical effectiveness by developing a framework which supports the development of systems which deliver accurate, appropriate and timely information to mobile clinicians at the point of care for clinical decision making. more...
The development of a holistic framework will provide a new perspective of "context awareness" for information based on understanding how to effectively connect "clinicians in context" with mobile devices on "context aware" networks using workflow models which are based on web services using device ecologies.

Ultimately, this framework will be extended to incorporate a holistic view of hospital mobile information environments from the lowest system level through to the services level, the user level, the local governance level and the external governance (regulatory) level. less...
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Using Social Networking technologies for reporting issues in Health Informatics research and education

Researchers: Dr Linda Dawson, Dr Juanita Fernando ( - Academic Convenor BMedSc, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Chair, Health Sub-Committee, Australian Privacy Foundation), Ms Janette Agg ( - Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences)
Centre: DSSE
Funding: Pending
Project outline: This project will produce a set of short video podcasts which discuss and report on recent issues in Health Informatics research and education. more...
The aim is to explore new technology delivery of HIS related material using video, screen capture, and video podcasting and to publish and share these video podcasts with the health informatics community using social networking environments such as YouTube, iTunes (and iTunes U), blogs, and wikis. less...
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Secure Healthcare-to-Healthcare (H2H) Platform: A complete security suite for managing and delivering EMR anytime, anywhere

Researchers: Prof Balasubramaniam Srinivasan (, Dr Phu Dung Le (, Xianping Wu (
Project outline: With current technical infrastructure, patient electronic medical record (EMR) can be collected, stored, analyzed and distributed via different hospitals in different geographical areas to rapidly diagnose the patients. more...
The EMR contains patient past medical history, family medical history, allergies, immunizations, diagnostic results, even very sensitive HIV-related issues, psychiatric care, or drug and alcohol treatments information. Misuse or abuse of that information may lead many issues, such as employers using health data to determine contracts with employees in order to reduce their health care and workers compensation costs, insurance companies using health data to accept clients.

The aim of this project is to investigate how to enhance the secure storage of EMR, secure transmission of EMR as well as protecting the privacy of patient medical record in order to create a secure H2H platform. This project can be divided into three phases: 1) development of a security architecture for EMR systems; 2) design and implementation of a security suite to protect confidentiality of EMR; 3) integration of current EMR with Secure H2H Platform. less...
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Sharable and Longitudinal Medical Records for e-Health in Indonesia using an Australian-based OpenEHR Standard

Researchers: A/Prof David Taniar, Prof Tati Mengko (Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia), Dr Andriyan Bayu Suksmono (Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia), Dr G.A. Putri Saptawati (Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia), A/Prof Wenny Rahayu (La Trobe University), Dr Eric Pardede (La Trobe University), and Ms Heather Grain (Llewelyn Grain Informatics)
Centre: DSSE
Funding: Australia-Indonesia Governance Research Partnership
Project outline: Medical record provides a complete summary of patient’s health history. It is ideal that each person has a longitudinal record that records the lifetime health history, from birth to death. Unfortunately, medical records in Indonesia are fragmented. more...
This fragmentation prevents the patients from having a single complete and longitudinal medical record. The main problem faced by the health care system in Indonesia is that there is no standard for storing medical records in Indonesia. A new and emerging standard based on a semantic technology, called OpenEHR, has been developed in Australia that has been recognized worldwide. less...
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