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 Dr Anne Hill


Email: aj.hill[AT]uq.edu.au - replace [AT] with @ to contact

Academic Qualifications

B.SpPath 1997 The University of Queensland
PhD 2008 The University of Queensland

Anne J Hill has been researching in the field of speech pathology for 15 years and currently holds a research-only position in the Telerehabilitation Research Unit (TRU) at The University of Queensland. As a founding member of the TRU, Dr Hill has been instrumental in the development and evaluation of a range of telerehabilitation applications for use in speech-language pathology. The University of Queensland is currently ranked as the leading institution worldwide for research in telehealth and telerehabilitation (Web of Science, January 2012).

Qualifications and employment
Dr Hill is a qualified speech language pathologist with over 15 years of clinical and research experience. She has worked in public hospitals and private practice in Australia and overseas. Her first research position was in 1997 within the Motor Speech Research Unit at the University of Queensland. Dr Hill continued to work clinically and in research, until she undertook a full time higher degree in 2005 with the support of a NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship . She was awarded the first PhD in speech pathology and telerehabilitation in Australia in 2008, for which she subsequently won a Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Theses. Dr Hill was research consultant to the Scottish Centre for Telehealth in 2009/2010, before returning to her current position as postdoctoral research fellow within the TRU at The University of Queensland.

Awards

  • Best Presentation Concurrent session award at Telehealth: Empowering Primary Health Care at Canadian Society of Telehealth Annual Conference 2007
  • Rising Star Award at Parkinson's Australia National Conference 2012

Research interests
Dr Hill’s doctoral research established the initial evidence for the standardised assessment of adult neurogenic communication disorders via telerehabilitation. Through the development of protocols to transfer standardised paper-based assessments of aphasia, apraxia of speech and dysarthria into the telerehabilitation environment, Dr Hill established the validity and reliability of telerehabilitation assessment of these communication disorders. Her contribution to the development of eHAB™ has been acknowledged by the co-directors of the TRU and the commericalisation company Uniquest at The University of Queensland. In her current position Dr Hill has contributed to the development of a voice analysis software tool which is currently being used in a NHMRC project (631514) which aims to evaluate the clinical and economic outcomes of providing intensive voice therapy to people with Parkinson’s disease in their home. During this period Dr Hill has also developed and trialled the eSALT application. This innovative software application is comprised of a clinician’s toolbox for the design of electronic therapy resources which are then uploaded to a mobile device (e.g., iPad). An asynchronous telerehabilitation module allows data gathered during completion of the tasks to be transferred to the clinician for interpretation and updating of tasks. The eSALT application has been designed for flexible use with any population with communication or swallowing disorders. The combination of salient tasks, ease of use through a touch screen device and clinician guided therapy is expected to be a powerful process for the delivery of intensive treatments for a range of communication and swallowing disorders.

Research performance
Telerehabilitation is a new area of research. Thus, Dr Hill’s contribution to this emerging field has been impressive in terms of publications, translational research and grant success for an early career researcher. Dr Hill has strong collaborative links with researchers in the Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation based at The University of Queensland, but an Australia-wide CCRE as evidenced by her recent publication with this group. Dr Hill also has firmly established collaborative links with the Centre for Functioning and Health Research (CFAHR) within QHealth as evidenced by her joint supervision of research high degree students and successful grant funding.

Publications
The majority (85%) of CIC Hill’s publications are in the field of telerehabilitation. For new researcher she has 13 articles which have been cited a total of 116 times, with two of her early articles cited 21 and 35 each respectively. CIC Hill has an average of 12.89 citations per publication, resulting in an H index of 7. Publications are reported in the premier journals in the fields of telerehabilitation/telemedicine (Journal of Telemedicine & Telecare IF1.21 and Telemedicine Journal and e-Health IF 1.42) and speech language pathology (International Journal of Language Communication Disorders IF 1.95, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology IF 2.03, International Journal of Speech Language Pathology IF 1.12).

Grants
As a new researcher Dr Hill has attracted funding, both internally from The University of Queensland , from the National Stroke Foundation (NSF) grant scheme and from Government and hospital funding agencies. The UQ grant was to develop electronic resources for use on mobile devices ($12,000). The NSF grant is to evaluate the use of eSALT with people with aphasia ($19,000). Two of Dr Hill’s honours students have also received NSF funding for their projects relating to eSALT ($3,000 each). Grants from AusHSI ($50,000) and the RBWH Foundation grant ($14,000) are to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a telehealth service for the speech pathology management of head and neck cancer within QHealth.

Translational research
Dr Hill’s work for the Scottish Centre for Telehealth spanned all allied health disciplines. By engaging with staff from the health boards, universities, patient support groups and professional associations across Scotland, Dr Hill provided a report which detailed current rehabilitation practice in Scotland and outlined 15 recommendations for the future development and implementation of telerehabilitation services in Scotland. The Hill report was delivered to the SCT and NHS 24 in March 2010 for their consideration and potential implementation of the recommendations.

Supervision of students
As an early career researcher Dr Hill currently supervises 2 higher degree students (1PhD, 1MPhil) and 3 honours students. Since 2010 she has supervised 6 honours students to completion. All of the projects relate to telehealth/telerehabilitation or technology, but span both communication and swallowing fields in speech-language pathology.