UQ partners to bring telehealth expertise into regional Northern Australia

16 January 2023

In an Australian first, The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health (COH) and The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) have teamed to bolster telehealth service delivery, training and knowledge sharing across Northern Australia.

Telehealth adoption has increased exponentially since the pandemic, resulting in more convenient and patient-focused healthcare, according to COH Director Professor Anthony Smith.

Professor Smith said clinical telehealth training is one of the most important requirements for preparing staff to deliver telehealth.

"A well-trained and prepared workforce will enhance the likelihood of achieving an effective and successful telehealth program and encourage the uptake and sustainability of telehealth."

“Our partnership with the CRCNA brings together a very wide network of industry partners in the healthcare, education, government, corporate, and technology sectors. The community focus is very important, which is why we will be responsible for delivering a training and telementoring program which brings everyone to the table – including service providers and consumers”.
“We’re very excited to be working with the CRCNA, to explore opportunities for telehealth adoption across Northern Australia. Our focus will be on enabling better access to health care and removing barriers associated with the use of telehealth. This will be achieved with effective engagement, planning, training, and support – to empower local communities and encourage the use of telehealth as part of routine care”. 
“Our COH team comprise of world-leading experts in telehealth research and evaluation, program development, and service delivery. We will be making these skills and capabilities available to the CRCNA and look forward to forming new partnerships in the region”.

Northern Australia, covering Western Australia, The Northern Territory, and Queensland.

The Northern Australian Telehealth ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) project will build a collaborative model to provide a range of services including place-based telehealth training, service development and research into the practical integration of telehealth into routine models of care.

As part of the program, COH experts will also deliver clinical telehealth workshops to selected groups within the region, which will cover the fundamental and more specialised aspects of telehealth – including understanding the practical requirements for telehealth, videoconference communication skills, integrating telehealth into clinical practice, and developing telehealth sustainable services. 

UQ’s Centre for Online Health (COH) is Australia’s leading academic centre in telehealth, with 20 years of experience developing, implementing and evaluating telehealth services in diverse contexts. Project ECHO is a telementoring model which is being used throughout the world, to support health service providers.

Contact Information

Professor Anthony Smith, Director, Centre for Online Health, asmith@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3176 5820, +61 413 901 644, coh.centre.uq.edu.au