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I have over twelve years telemedicine research experience, and a long-standing special interest in the role of telemedicine in neonatal and paediatric critical care. Starting in 2004, I developed and evaluated a novel real-time telemedicine application to support remote clinical consultation between a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit and peripheral hospitals.

Left – telemedicine at the RBWH (Courtesy The Australian)

This application, known as ‘NEMO’ (Neonatal Examination and Management Online) was evaluated between the Grantley Stable Neonatal Nursery at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) and four referring hospitals. This research was conducted in partnership with the Dr Tim Donovan, neonatal paediatrician at the RBWH, and was recognised by two awards – the  Better clinical practice: better patient outcomes award and the Health Minister’s award for innovation, at the 2011 Queensland Health Healthcare Improvement Awards.

Between 2010 and 2016, I co-ordinated Health-e-Screen4kids, a community-based ear and hearing health program for Indigenous children. The program uses telemedicine to integrate screening and surveillance with ENT specialist review,and surgical outreach services. The program commenced in late 2008 and now provides regular assessments, review and referral for children at 39 schools in the South Burnett Region, helping to address a serious public health problem for Indigenous children. In 2015, the cumulative number of children recruited to the program exceeded 3,000.

More generally, I am interested in the nature of evidence in telemedicine. While it is not a new field, the formal evidence base remains limited. It is still unclear what constitutes useful evidence for clinicians and policy makers, how that evidence should be generated, and how it may be best disseminated to influence practice and policy.

Gynaecological cancer

In late 2015, I began work as a research fellow at the Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer Research (gyncan.org) based at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

qcgcThe mission of QCGC Research is “to develop the best standard of care for women experiencing gynaecological cancer. This may include finding causes for and preventing gynaecological cancer or finding better treatment options to cure women affected by gynaecological cancer”.

In this role I am primarily involved with clinical trials of minimally invasive gynaecological surgery for women with early stage uterine cancer.