Answering the challenging questions in digital health
The Digital Health Research Network is a collaborative network of academics from the School of Health Sciences. We recognise the increasingly important role that digital technology plays in health, healthcare and wellbeing management.
We look at challenges through a ‘health’ lens first and explore technology’s role in supporting 21st century healthcare. By understanding the complexities of health and disease following a biopsychosocial approach, we can source human, intellectual and digital capital to help solve health challenges.
Before technology can be considered as the answer to health’s challenges, we first seek to know what those challenges are?
- What matters to the individual?
- How can we solve these challenges?
- Where can we make an impact using digital health?
- Could digitally-enabled services, products and models of care hold the key?
- How do we evaluate and validate digital health and ensure its use fits within an evidence-base practiced paradigm?
Our aims are to:
- act as a catalyst and hub for research collaborations and grant applications
- promote visibility of digital health initiatives in the School of Health Science
- attract and engage postgraduate and undergraduate students
- identify curriculum opportunities to integrate digital health topics into the learning environment.
These aims align with Swinburne's 2025 strategic plan that will build capabilities across key areas: future-ready learners, research with impact, and innovative enterprise. We also support the vision of Swinburne's research institutes.
What is digital health?
Digital health exists at the intersection between health and technology. Work in this area has drawn attention for several years but the terminology has only become popular recently. Many terms are synonymous and used interchangeably with digital health, such as eHealth, health technology, and health informatics.
Fields of digital health include:
- technologies that individuals use to support positive health behaviours and outcomes (the internet, mobile devices, apps, social media, sensors, games)
- platforms to deliver healthcare remotely (telehealth, virtual reality)
- data analytics and information science
- clinical information systems (electronic medical records, clinical decision support systems).