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The Northern Australian Regional Digital Health Collaborative (NARDHC) brings together the health sector, digital/technology industry partners, and James Cook University in co-designing and implementing digital health solutions for northern Australia. Whilst accessibility to timely healthcare delivery in RRR in NA remains a challenge, key areas of concern regarding the health of residents are chronic disease, high rate of BP, diabetes, obesity, high injury, and fatality rates among others. The objective of NARDHC project is to advance the application of novel digital health technologies to healthcare in RRR in NA to strengthen the health system to prevent, predict, support early intervention, and delay the onset of chronic and long-term diseases at both a population and individual level in RRR.

What is the issue? 

Northern Australia has many challenges in terms of delivering health care to small populations across challenging geographies. Digital health may offer part of the solution but needs to be well integrated to meet health system needs. Uniting industry partners in health and technology with university partners, the Northern Australia Regional Digital Health Collaborative brings together key stakeholders to develop viable digital health solutions that address challenges in the remote management of chronic conditions in regional, rural, and remote northern Australia. 

The opportunity 

Through the Digital Health Collaborative, we will bring together health care providers, researchers, and technical industry partners, with consumers, government and others to discuss the challenges and potential digital solutions. This will be done through: 

  • Formation and support of a Regional Industry Advisory Board (RIAB)
  • Regional roundtables to workshop wicked problems and potential technical solutions
  • Co-location of health and technical expertise including small and medium enterprises 
  • Seed and start-up funding for digital innovations
  • Commercialisation support 
  • Education and training for health care providers in the use of digital resources
  • Implementation and evaluation of pilot digital interventions.   

How can I get involved? 

  • We are keen to hear from you about digital innovations that might help in providing health care to the populations of our region. These might include remote monitoring, telehealth, advanced data analytics and so on.
  • Join into roundtable discussions or participate in the RIAB
  • Contact the project team directly with your ideas.

We look forward to working with you to advance the application of novel digital health solutions for wider adoption and scalability to strengthen health systems in regional, rural, remote communities.  

Round 1 Seed Grant Funding Projects

Fusion of wearable and environmental sensors for remote monitoring of health and well-being in elderly populations (Dr Stephanie Baker)

 Mapping statewide EMR observation records to OMOP CDM to increase interoperability (A/Prof Claire Sullivan).

A mobile app and dashboard for the effective management of early-stage chronic kidney disease (Dr Euijoon Ahn)

Ms Kaila Putter,  Winner  - Digital Health Simulator (NARDHC-JCU Impact 10X Program, 2022)

Upcoming Events: 

An Industry Roundtable - Delivering Digitally Enabled Health Care to Rural, Regional and Remote Northern Australia

Third Industry Roundtable

21st March 2023 8am – 10am AEST

Our previous Industry Roundtable events focused on exploring health delivery challenges in regional, rural, and remote Northern Australia and came up with some areas of digital health innovation that might assist with healthcare delivery challenges across northern Australia – consumer-facing mobile health promotion apps, AI and IoT-empowered remote home monitoring, and improving data integration and interoperability for specific chronic diseases and their broad applicability in other disease areas. However, there is low uptake of digital health options at both the individual (consumer and provider) and organisational levels. In this roundtable discussion, we will consider and address sustainability in terms of understanding the value proposition for uptake and adoption, and possible barriers, including technology user readiness and user experience.  Users include both healthcare providers and consumers. 

NARDHC, led by JCU and its partners TAAHC, CSIRO, NQPHN, Optus and CRCNA, will build on outcomes of the previous roundtable events and host the third to explore strategies to sustain and embed promising novel digital health solutions for the region. Read more about this event and itinerary here.

Key Activities in this project:

Project Phases 

For more information contact the Project Manager Dr. Salifu Yusif E. 
ph. 07 4781 5245

Meet the Team

Project Manager 

Dr Salifu Yusif 

Project Management Team

  • Prof Sarah Larkins
  • Prof Ronald White 
  • Prof Nico Adams
  • Mr Peter Westwood

Regional Industry Advisory Board Members

Partner Organization Initial Nominee
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Prof. Eddy Strivens, Director of Research, CHHHS
Mackay Hospital and Health Service Kylie Oliver, Nurse Director at Mackay Hospital and Health Service
North Queensland Primary Health Network Jenine Cox, Health System Integration and Innovation Lead at Northern Queensland Primary Health Network
North West Hospital and Health Service Ms. Julie Sorrell
Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service Dr Ineke Weaver Senior Medical Officer and Public Health Medical Officer, TCHHS
Townsville Hospital and Health Service Prof. Sabe Sabesan, Director of Medical Oncology/Clinical Dean THHS/Co-Chair Australian Teletrial Program

Prof Andrew Mallett, Director of Clinical Research, THHS
CSIRO Dr David Hansen, CEO and Research Director, Australian e-Health Research Centre, CSIRO
CRCNA Sarah Docherty, Senior Project Manager, CRCNA
QAIHC Mr. Bevan Ahkee, Manager – Sector Development, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council

Optus Mr Jason Bamert, Associate Director of Education, Optus Enterprise

Ms Rebecca Ardron, Regional Account Manager, Optus (Townsville)
Queensland Health Dr Ides’ Wong, Manager at Queensland Health
James Cook University Pro Sarah Larkins, Dean College of Medicine and Dentistry (Co-Chair)

Prof Ron White, Dean College of Science and Engineering (Co-Chair)

Prof Nico Adams, Optus Chair.

Dr. Denise Hodge, Director JCU Connect