Former Bupa executive appointed to head up CSIRO health research

The CSIRO has appointed GP and former medical director for health insurer Bupa Rob Grenfell as its new director of health and biosecurity.

The health and biosecurity group spans public health, animal health, environmental health and biosecurity, and takes in the organisation's expertise in eHealth, biomedical manufacturing, nutrition and its 'One Health' strategy, which links human, animal and environmental health.

CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall, who has been under fire for overseeing deep cuts to the organisation's climate change research capability, said Dr Grenfell would join a team that has “saved lives with data, reduced diabetes and obesity through diet, and developed vaccines for chronic diseases”.

Dr Grenfell worked in an isolated rural general practice in Natimuk in Victoria for 13 years and is a past chair General Practice Victoria. He was also national director of cardiovascular health for the Heart Foundation, and managed its national Aboriginal health unit.

At Bupa, he was responsible for clinical quality and contributed to Bupa's Digital Innovation Lab, as well as evaluating and incorporating new technologies into health services.

"No other organisation can say they have helped to create extended-wear contact lenses, created a vaccine for the Hendra virus, run Australia's largest clinical telehealth trial, and created the first drug successful in treating flu," Dr Grenfell said in a statement.

CSIRO has still not publicly released the Home Monitoring of Chronic Disease for Aged Care report of its trial into home monitoring of vital signs of elderly patients with chronic disease.

That trial found that massive savings in the order of $3 billion per annum could be achieved simply by reducing hospital admissions by one episode a year per person.

Posted in Movers and shakers

Tags: Telehealth, CSIRO

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