19 August 2013

Healthcare will soon be more accessible for more Australians, thanks to a $2.5 million Federal Government grant to The University of Queensland to advance telehealth research.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) awarded the funds to UQ’s Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Telehealth led by Professor Len Gray, Director of the UQ Centre for Online Health.

Professor Gray said the CRE in Telehealth brought together an internationally recognised team from four telehealth research groups at UQ: The Centre for Online Health, the Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine, the Telerehabilitation Research Unit, and the Dermatology Research Centre.

“It is supported by technical experts in health economics, information technology, engineering, health informatics, workforce planning and management,” he said.

Professor Gray said the centre aimed to accelerate telehealth research into healthcare delivery and increase the cohort of telehealth researchers and practitioners.

“The CRE in Telehealth will focus on health service settings where access is currently challenging, such as small rural hospitals, residential aged care facilities, people’s homes (particularly for disabled and older people), and indigenous communities,” Professor Gray said.

“The telehealth team has extensive research and translation experience in telemedicine in paediatrics, geriatrics, speech pathology, physiotherapy and dermatology.

“We have partnered with experts from the UQ School of Business, the Inala Indigenous Health Service and the Griffith Health Institute at Griffith University to ensure the highest quality research to address the major challenges facing telehealth expansion.”

UQ President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj congratulated the UQ researchers and their collaborators on securing the grant, which will have lasting impact through a better understanding of the benefits of telehealth.

“UQ’s telehealth and telemedicine experts are the world’s most productive for peer-reviewed research in their field, and this grant gives a significant opportunity to apply this excellence more deeply,” Professor Høj said.

“It’s an opportunity that UQ relishes, because the potential beneficiaries are not only the people of non-metropolitan Australia, but also people living in our cities and suburbs.”

The team of researchers includes:

UQ Centre for Online Health and Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine Director Professor Len Gray (The Masonic Chair in Geriatric Medicine)
UQ Telerehabilitation Research Unit Co-Director Professor Deborah Theodoros
UQ Centre for Online Health Deputy Director Associate Professor Anthony Smith
UQ Telerehabilitation Unit Co-Director Associate Professor Trevor Russell
UQ Dermatology Research Centre Chair Professor Peter Soyer
Inala Community Health Centre Indigenous Health Clinical Director Associate Professor Noel Hayman
• Griffith University Griffith Health Institute Population and Social Health Research Program Deputy Director Dr Jennifer Whitty
UQ Business School Senior Lecturer in Management Dr Nicole Gillespie .

Video interview with UQ Professor Len Gray and cutaways can be downloaded from: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hcdgv0b6ck5ixu5/CRE%20in%20Telehealth_Prof%20Len%20Gray.m4v

Media Contact: Professor Len Gray, len.gray@uq.edu.au or Joanne Grey, UQ Communications, The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health 07 3346 4754 or j.grey2@uq.edu.au

Resources for Media UQ's Centre for Online Health website www.uq.edu.au/coh/

UQ's Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine website www.som.uq.edu.au/research/research-centres/centre-for-research-in-geriatric-medicine.aspx

UQ's Telerehabilitation Research Unit website http://www.uq.edu.au/telerehabilitation/about-us

UQ's Dermatology Research Centre website http://www.som.uq.edu.au/research/research-centres/dermatology-research-centre.aspx