Data linkages for rural and remote health research

How to maximise the use of national, regional and local health data sets for shaping and evaluating frontline rural and remote health services and policy is one of the focuses of the 4th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium, being held in Canberra in September.

Day two of the symposium will feature speakers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Medicare and the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA).

Topics include data linkage and monitoring changes over time, handling some of the challenges with data analysis in rural and remote areas, getting access to reliable small area data and linking big and small data sets for geo-spatial mapping and analysis.

Day one will concentrate on how to improve collaboration between national data agencies and local health service providers, community groups and early-career researchers to undertake systematic research and evaluation of frontline rural health services.

The keynote address will be delivered by David Hansen, CEO of the Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) and chair of the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA).

Dr Hansen will give examples of CSIRO research in rural and remote Australia and how the information gathered can be used to inform government policy and funding models. An important aspect of the work is to extract meaning from the wide range of home and health service data collected as part of service delivery.

He will discuss the telehealth trials CSIRO is involved in around the country, as well as the use of mobile phones, tablets and sensor networks to support the delivery of health services in the community, including cardiac rehabilitation, smart home technology to enable older Australians to live safely in their homes, and tele-medicine systems for remote eye screening.

The symposium is jointly organised by the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) – of which the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) is a member – the Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN), the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS) and the Australian National University.

It is being held at Old Parliament House in Canberra on September 2 and 3. Online registrations are open.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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