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WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth

The UNSW School of Public Health & Community Medicine is designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre on eHealth, with Professor Siaw-Teng Liaw as Head of the Centre. The Collaborating Centre program of work for 2018-2021 will support:

1.    WHO activities in eHealth in areas such as strategy development, implementation, capacity building and evaluation; and

2.    WHO regional activities in eHealth in areas such as capacity building implementation and evaluation at the country level.

The Collaborating Centre will work together with WHO regional offices to mobilize country actions around eHealth implementation and evaluation and capacity building at the country level to develop and implement Integrated Person Centred Health Services to support Universal Health Coverage within the inter-sectoral framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.*

* Liaw ST et al. Global eHealth, Social Business and Citizen Engagement: A Natural Convergence? In: A.V. Gundlapalli et al. (Eds.). MEDINFO 2017: Precision Healthcare through Informatics. Hangzhou, China: IIMIA & IOS Press, 2017, p. 773-7

Activities include:

  • systematic review and evaluation of the existing and reported methods for successful capacity building, implementation and evaluation;
  • assessment of informatics capability maturity and readiness models that could help countries to evaluate their status and move forward with their eHealth strategy implementation;
  • development of evaluation guides, including the assessment of inputs, mechanism, impact and outcome in context, to be pilot-tested in selected countries prior to wider roll out.
  • Capacity building activities include formal training in research & evaluation conducted in UNSW as well as in the field with on-site training and support activities in member countries.

The vision is global eHealth development, implementation, research and capacity building, particularly in the Asia Pacific countries. This includes the integration of citizen and community engagement, social enterprise and eHealth practice and principles to achieve and sustain integrated person centred health services that are safe and effective, accessible, equitable and culturally appropriate.


Terms of Reference: AUS 135 WHO Collaborating Centre on eHealth

TOR 1: To support WHO activities in eHealth in areas including strategy development, implementation, capacity building and evaluation.

Activity 1:  Capacity building in support of country’s eHealth implementation through systematic review and evaluation of the existing and reported methods for successful implementation

Activity 2: Develop mixed methods evaluation and assessment of inputs, mechanism, impact and outcome in context (related to selected areas in Activity 1

TOR 2: To support WHO regional activities in eHealth in areas such as capacity building and evaluation at the country level

Activity 1:  Capacity building in support of country’s eHealth implementation through training and support with a focus on collaborative research and evaluation in eHealth

Activity 2: In collaboration with WHO regional office, provide required training around methodologies developed in TOR1 to WHO member states to mobilize the country actions around eHealth implementation and evaluation at the country level.

Acrobat document  Download full Terms of Reference



  • UNSW Centre for Primary Healthcare and Equity (CPHCE)
  • South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD )
  • South Western Sydney Primary Health network (SWSPHN)
  • UNSW electronic Practice Based Research Network (ePBRN)
  • Yunus Social Business Health Hub (YSBHH)
  • George Institute for Global Health, Australia
  • Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI)
  • University of Melbourne


  • World Health Organization, West Pacific Regional Office (WHO WPRO)
  • World Health Organization, South East Asian Regional Office (WHO SEARO)
  • Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN)
  • International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA)
  • Yunus Social Business Centre, Bangladesh
  • George Institute for Global Health, India
  • University of Philippines, Philippines
  • University of Surrey, UK
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Malaysia
  • Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
  • Academia Sinica, Taiwan
  • SRM University, India
  • VIT University, India


Image - Teng Liaw


Prof Teng Liaw

Professor of General Practice, UNSW
Director, WHO CC for eHealth, UNSW

Dr Liaw is Professor of General Practice at UNSW Sydney and a recognised digital health practitioner, educator and researcher as indicated by his election to Founding Fellowship of the International Academy of Health Science Informatics (IAHSI), Fellowship of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI), Foundation Fellowship of the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) and Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACG); invited conference keynote presentations and consultancies; invited participation in professional committees, editorial boards, and peer-review panels for competitive grants and scientific conferences; and peer-reviewed publications.

These academic, professional, community and capacity building activities have nurtured enduring relationships with Australian Commonwealth and state departments, professional organisations, health services organisations such as Local Health Districts and Primary Health Networks, and non-government organisations such as the NPS and NHF, Aboriginal Health organisations. Similarly, his bilateral and multilateral international relationships are nurtured through the WHO Collaborating Centre, IMIA, IAHSI, and the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN). He co-leads the research and capacity building in AeHIN.

Professor Liaw’s digital health research covers global eHealth, analytics of “big data” from electronic health records, and implementation and evaluation of digital health, especially mHealth, tools in clinical and managerial practice. His international collaborative research is focused on the quality of EHR data and their fitness for patient care, quality improvement and research. He has published 150+ peer-reviewed publications and 17 book chapters in the past 5 years. He supervises PhD and Masters students in health and informatics from the Computer Science, Information Systems and Medicine disciplines. Current PhD students are researching “Global eHealth, Social Enterprise and Community Engagement” and “Well baby checks with a focus on autism”.


Image - Padma Narasimhan


Dr Padmanesan Narasimhan

Assistant Director, WHO CC for eHealth, UNSW
T: +61 (2) 9385 3944

Dr Padmanesan Narasimhan is a Lecturer at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. He completed his Master of Public Health (MPH) and PhD from the University of New South Wales, Australia in the area of tuberculosis transmission among household contacts in south India. His area of research includes infectious diseases transmission, health management, international health systems, understanding and application of e-health models and disease management. He is also involved in teaching health services management, communicable disease emergencies and infectious disease epidemiology. He has published his research in leading international journals and conferences.

Padma joined the School as a teaching and research academic in 2014. His contacts in his home town of Vellore at the Christian Medical College (CMC), one of the top medical schools in India, have given rise to a number of collaborations and benefits to the SPHCM. In 2009, Padma was integral in coordinating a link between the SPHCM and the CMC and arranging a series of infectious disease modelling workshops. He also supervised e-health research projects in collaboration with the WHO collaborating centre for eHealth based at UNSW and has been serving as the assistant director of that Centre, to help promote their research and training activities in developing countries.


Myron Godinho


Dr Myron Anthony Godinho

Scientia PhD Scholar, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney
T: +61 (2) 450 693 161

Myron is a Scientia PhD Scholar at the UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine, where he is currently developing a conceptual framework that incorporates Digital Health, Social Enterprise and Citizen Engagement for implementing Integrated, Patient-Centred Health Services (IPCHS). This interdisciplinary project bridges the WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth, and UNSW’s Yunus Social Business Health Hub (YSBHH).

A medical doctor passionate about Global Health Policy, Myron has organised and chaired several Model UN & WHO debate simulations on issues of global relevance in health.  Having worked in evidence synthesis and qualitative research, Myron has published in the fields of global health policy & systems, health professions education and clinical epidemiology.


Image - Sameera Ansari


Dr Sameera Ansari

Post-Doctoral Researcher, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney

Sameera is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth (AUS-135) based at the UNSW School of Population Health. A cardio-respiratory physiotherapist by background, she completed her PhD on self-management of COPD in the context of multi-morbidity at the School in 2018. Sameera has managed several research projects and contributed to teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate public health courses. Her main research interests are chronic disease prevention and management, health services, health systems, implementation science, digital health and primary health care. Through her research, Sameera has collaborated with various organisations such as NSW Health, Lung Foundation Australia, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Pacific Health Information Network and the World Health Organization.


Image - Jitendra Jonnagaddala


Dr Jitendra Jonnagaddala

Research Fellow, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney
T: +61 (2) 9385 8153

 Jitendra is a Research Fellow with the School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM) under the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW Sydney. Jitendra’s research interests are in the secondary usage of routinely collected data. His focus is also on using social media data to detect disease outbreaks. He is also the main organiser of the International Workshop on Digital Disease Detection using Social Media (DDDSM). Jitendra has vast experience working in various eHealth and informatics roles. Jitendra leads a number of research projects working with diverse stakeholders such as UNSW, NSW Health, NSW Pathology and Cancer Institute NSW.  Prior to that he worked in Singapore for Singapore Health Services where he was primarily responsible for developing informatics solutions to enable translational research.   He is also a WHO international consultant on eHealth and Health information systems. As part of his consulting assignments he worked with various funding agencies, health ministries, and technical assistance agencies and not for profit organisations.


Image - Mahfuz Ashraf


Dr Mahfuz Ashraf

Early Career Researcher, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney
T: +61 (2) 9385 8273

Dr Mahfuz Ashraf is an early career researcher with a strong interdisciplinary background across social issues of information technology and health focused social business/enterprise for marginalised communities in resource poor settings. He has collaborated with Noble Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus since 2011 and has conducting evidence based ‘action-to-knowledge’ research on social business- an innovate way of conducting business for solving social problems at global level.

Mahfuz convenes ‘social business for public health’ course which focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship for social/health impact in resource-poor settings. This is the first ever social business course offered in Australia to adopt Professor Yunus’ seven principles of running social businesses ( He is a mentor and coach for start-up companies and supports students led ‘idea competition’ for social impact. His mentorship enabled a start-up (Water Democracy, Australia) winning Young Social Pioneers FYA program award in 2017 for piloting a renewable energy project in Australia and Bangladesh. He supervises research/project on innovation and entrepreneurship for social impact in resource-poor settings. He is the Associate Editor; Australia and New Zealand Journal of Social Business, Environment and Sustainability; ISSN:2206-4346.


Image - Jason Guan Guo


Mr Jason Guan Guo

Research Assistant, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney

Jason is a Research Assistant at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM) responsible for the operations of the electronic Practice Based Research Network (ePBRN) program. He has a neuroscience and vision science background and research experience in early diagnosis of autism and visual motor control, and health informatics research experience in Terminology Mapping standards, Health service utilisation and opioid use in Primary care. He was involved in the conversion of ePBRN data into OMOP - Common Data Model and coordination the data extractions with the GP clinics and South western Sydney Local Health District. Jason has strong interest in the evaluation and improvement of data quality and standardization of routinely collected data for secondary use, and data linkage of existing and emerging data sources for research in health.


The themes for the research and development aligns with the UNSW Faculty of Medicine’s research priority and the UNSW 2025 and the WHO WPRO strategies.

Theme 1: Enabling digital platform technologies and algorithms to extract and link real world observational data from general practice, hospital and population health information systems (HIS); identify cohorts for clinical trials and longitudinal research; monitor incidence, prevalence and pattern (demographics, place and time) of health issues and services use across primary and secondary care settings; and adopt/adapt a Common Data Model to integrate observational data from disparate HIS as well as social media to enable collaborative big data research;

Theme 2: An Internet of Things approach to develop and integrate mobile health (mHealth) apps, including “wearables”, with HIS to enhance personalised medicine, support self-management and clinical decisions and improve access to health care and information.

Theme 3: Ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) with implementing eHealth systems, and innovate with digital tools to improve the equity, appropriateness, integration, continuity, safety and quality of data and multidisciplinary team care.

Theme 4: Implementation and evaluation: My eHealth evaluation methodology uses mixed methods and observational EHR/HIS data. This is translated locally through professional and training organisations such as primary health networks (PHNs) and GP training organisations, and globally through WHO Collaborating Centre (eHealth) activities.

ehearth research themes


Current research projects

Current funded projects to underpin the R&D program are summarised below.  More information on the projects can be found at and  

Title: Standardization and harmonization of Australian general practice and hospital data to international common data model

Method: OHDSI analytics tools; risk prediction algorithm development

Expected Outcome: ePBRN data repository in OMOP Common Data Model compliant with OHDSI tools for collaborative big data research

Theme: Enabling platform technologies (1)


Title: Survey of Enterprise architecture in AeHIN member countries (SEARO & WPRO)

Method: Survey of member countries

Expected Outcome: Report to support and guide planning

Theme: Enabling platform technologies (1)


Title: Predictive analytics from at home telemonitoring of vital signs (ARC-Linkage)

Method: Data analytics using informatics and statistics tools

Expected Outcome: Data analytics tools and methods along with evidence from home telemonitoring

Theme: Enabling platform technologies (1)


  • Argha A, Savkin A, Liaw ST, Celler BG. Analyzing the effect of seasonal variation on clinical outcome of an at-home telemonitoring trial. JMIR 2018; 6 (1): e16. doi:10.2196/medinform.9680


Title: Systematic literature reviews on mHealth for healthy ageing and integrated service delivery in WPRO countries

Method: Literature review

Expected Outcome:  Reports and publications to guide planning for eHealth activities in member countries of WPRO

Theme: Internet of Things/mHealth (2)


Title: Continuity of care in the Fairfield and Wollondilly Integrated health neighbourhoods (IHN)

Method: Data analytics using observational data from EHR/HIS

Expected Outcome:  Mature protocols & tools to measure continuity of care and assess impact on service use, care, health status & risk factors

Theme: Internet of Things/mHealth (2)


  • Liaw ST, de Lusignan S. An integrated health neighbourhood framework to optimise the use of EHR data. J Innov Health Inform. 2016; 23(3): 547-554


Title: Detection of falls in Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) patients using mobile phone

Method: In-clinic mobile app to assess CIPN severity

Expected Outcome: The clinical feasibility assessment will be completely carried out in a clinical setting and we anticipate to expand this project in the next phase by monitoring the patients remotely for CIPN symptoms and severity

Theme: Internet of Things/mHealth (2)


Title: Telemonitoring and early detection of COPD exacerbations. (UNSW SPHERE)

Method: Software development and application

Expected Outcome: Mature app and system with utility & acceptance study done

Theme: Internet of Things/mHealth (2)


Title: Platform for Collab Research on Smart Home and Smart Campus Technologies and Applications

Method: Software development and testing

Expected Outcome: Digital platform to test apps and link app data to EHR/HIS

Theme: Enabling platform technologies (1)


Title: Global eHealth, social enterprise & citizen engagement to achieve SDGs (Scientia PhD Scholarship 2017)

Method: Mixed method

Expected Outcome: framework development and test

Theme: Internet of Things/mHealth (2)


Title: Preventing chronic disease in patients with low health literacy using e-health and teamwork in PHC.  (NHMRC APP1125681)

Method: App development with user-testing and conduct of an RCT

Expected Outcome: The cost-effectiveness of an eHealth-supported team care demonstrated with a RCT

Theme: Internet of Things/mHealth (2)


Title: Total Cardiac Care – utilisation of a comprehensive smartphone app to improve patient care. (NSWH)

Method: RCT of the Total Cardiac Care app

Expected Outcome:  Mature cardiac care app and system with utility & acceptance study done and usefulness demonstrated

Theme: Internet of Things/mHealth (2)


Title: Researching the ELSI associated with implementation and use of digital tools and systems

Method: Workshop discussion

Expected Outcome:  professional and citizen/community engagement

Theme: Ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) (3)


  • Kaplan B, Liaw ST, Subbian V, Courtney K, Hochheiser H and Goodman KW. Promoting Ethical and Professional Responsibility in Biomedical Informatics Education. AMIA Ann Fall Meeting. Washington DC2017. Available at:
  • Chan T, Di Iorio CT, Kuziemsky C, Liaw ST, de Lusignan S, Lo Russo D. The UK National Data Guardian for health and care’s review of data security, consent and opt-outs: leadership in balancing public health with rights to privacy? J Innov Health Inform. 2016; 23(3): 627–632
  • Liyanage H, Liaw ST, Di Ioria CT, Kuziemsky C, Schreiber R, Terry AL, de Lusignan S. Building a privacy, ethics and data access framework for real world computerised medical record system data: A Delphi study. YearBk Med Informatics 2016; pp 138-145
  • Essén, A, Scandurra I, Gerrits R, Humphrey G, Johansen MA, Kiergegaard P, Koskinen J, Liaw ST, Odeh S, Ross P, Ancker JS. Patient Access to Electronic Health Records: Differences across Ten Countries." Health Policy and Technology (2017/11/21).


Title: Diffusion of eHealth planning, development, implementation and evaluation methodologies to other settings and countries to build capacity locally and globally, in collaboration with the WHO and international colleagues

Method: Assessing the Informatics Capability Maturity (ICM) of health facilities in member countries to collect, manage and share health data to a national level

Expected Outcome:  Enable valid, reliable, accurate and useful monitoring of care processes and their impacts on sustainable development goal (SDG-3)
Theme: Skills sharing and Capacity building (4)


  • Khatun F, Heywood AE, Hanifi SMA, Rahman MS, Ray PK, Liaw ST, et al. Gender differentials in readiness and use of mHealth services in a rural area of Bangladesh. BMC Health Services Research. 2017;17(573):11.
  • Liaw ST, Kearns R, Taggart J, Frank O, Lane R, Tam M, et al. The Informatics Capability Maturity of Integrated Primary Care Centres in Australia. Int J Med Informatics. 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2017.06.002

Past research projects

Title: Implementation of HMIS (Digital Health)

Investigators: Dr Jitendra Jonnagaddala

Funding Source: WHO SEARO International consultancy


Planned future research projects:

Title: Global eHealth, social business and SDG - A synergy
Investigator: Mahfuz Ashraf

Title: Social media and mHealth for Tuberculosis disease monitoring in NSW, Australia
Investigator: Padmanesan Narasimhan

Title: Mapping hot-spots for Tuberculosis in NSW, Australia using GIS

Title: Capacity building in GIS and eHealth capabilities in health research
Investigators: Teng Liaw; Padmanesan Narasimhan
Collaborators: CRC SI, Australia

Title: ICT, Disability and eHealth
Investigator: Mahfuz Ashraf


Education, Training & Opportunities

The WHOCC-eHealth is involved in a number of education and training activities. We are conducting a literature review on digital and eHealth education and training programs to inform curriculum development in digital health. We are leading the AeHIN Research Group, with the centre Director: Prof Teng Liaw contributing as a member of the AeHIN Working Council, to coordinate a range of training and support activities in building the capacity to address the GAPS (governance, architecture, project management and standards). The methods used includes needs analysis, evaluation, training and certification. Activities being considered include joint academic supervision and/or mentoring among AeHIN university partners; as well as with partners such as the Asian Development Bank.

Opportunities for Research/Internship

Potential Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates, 6UOC SPHCM postgraduate students are invited to submit expressions of interest to undertake research/internship at the WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth in the research areas Digital platform technologies and algorithms; Internet of Things/mHealth; Ethical, legal and social issues and Implementation and evaluation of eHealth (see Research page for further detail)

Higher degree research students include:

Alireza Rahimi
Topic: Ontological approach to data quality in chronic disease management
Supervisor(s): Siaw-Teng Liaw, Pradeep Ray
Program: PhD
Time: 2011-2014

Fatema Khatun
Topic: Community readiness for mHealth in Bangladesh
Supervisor(s): Siaw-Teng Liaw, Pradeep Ray
Program: PhD
Time: 2012-2015

Jitendra Jonnagaddala
Topic: Empirical methods for absolute risk assessment using electronic health records
Supervisor(s): Siaw-Teng Liaw, Blanca Gallego Luxan, Pradeep Ray
Program: PhD
Time: 2014-2017

Pankaj Garg
Topic: Child development and autism
Supervisor(s): John Eastwood, Siaw-Teng Liaw
Program: PhD
Time: 2015-Cont'd

John Lewis
Topic: Enhance information systems to support general practitioners
Supervisor(s): Siaw-Teng Liaw, Ben Smith, Pradeep Ray
Program: PhD
Time: 2017-Cont'd

Myron Godinho
Topic: Extending Integrated, Patient-Centred Health Services (IPCHS)
Supervisor(s): Siaw-Teng Liaw, Padmanesan Narasimhan, Mahfuz Ashraf
Program: PhD
Time: 2018-Cont'd



WHO Collaborating Centre on eHealth Launch

The WHO Collaborating Centre on eHealth was launched on 29 August 2018 by Professor Vivian Lin, on behalf of Dr Shin Young-soo, Regional Director, WHO Western Pacific Region. Professor Lin recently retired as the Director of Health Systems, WHO Western Pacific Region.

Professor Rodney Phillips, Dean of Medicine, and Professor Rebecca Ivers, Head of School of Public Health & Community Medicine, welcomed Professor Lin and other honoured guests. There were guests from the School of Public Health & Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine and other UNSW Schools and Faculties; SPHERE Clinical Academic Groups; Local Health Districts; The George Institute; NHMRC CRE on Digital Health; other universities such as Sydney and Macquarie; external Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as the Australian Digital health Agency and National Prescribing Service; and industry organisations such as Oracle. Guests stayed on to network over a delicious afternoon tea.

To see <Presentions from the Launch> please click the hyperlink.


First International Workshop on Digital Disease Detection using Social Media 2017 (DDDSM-2017)

Historically the disease outbreaks were detected based on trends observed in the official reports collected at various geographic levels as part of the pre-established surveillance programs. The major drawback of this approach is producing outbreak alerts in timely fashion. Advances in technology and rapid adoption of information sharing platforms such as social media platforms provide new data sources and unique opportunities for researchers to study disease outbreaks. Digital disease surveillance involves monitoring various digital information sources for early warning, detection, rapid response, and management phases.  Unlike manual systems, which relies on traditional disease surveillance program reports to monitor and predict early outbreaks, the current automated digital disease surveillance systems exploit mainly publicly available information on internet such as news, social media and search engines.

WHO-CC eHealth organized the First International Workshop on Digital Disease Detection using Social Media 2017 (DDDSM-2017) on 27 November 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. DDDSM-2017 is co-located with the The 8th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (IJCNLP 2017). Please find more information on the workshop at The objective of this workshop emphasizes the application of the latest advances in advanced data mining algorithmic methods such as deep learning and online learning approach on social media data to detect early signals for an outbreak using social media.


WPRO Expert Consultation, Manila, Philippines, March 2018

Professor Teng Liaw was invited to participate in the Expert Consultation workshop in Manila to inform the WPRO Regional Action to harness eHealth to improve service delivery.


AeHIN Research Workshop, Naypidaw, Myanmar, May 2017

Professor Teng Liaw and Dr Jitendra Jonnagadalla coordinated the workshop with the AeHIN research group. It included members from Phillipines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Pakistan.


WHO AeHIN Meeting in Qingdao 2017

Image - WHO AeHIN meeting in Qingdao Image - WHO AeHIN meeting in Qingdao


AeHIN Research Workshop March 2017 - Myanmar

AeHIN conference AeHIN Conference 2017
AeHIN Conference 2017 AeHIN Conference 2017


MoU signing with CRC SI

eHealth WHO CC signing MOU WHO CC eHealth
MOU WHO CC eHealth  

WHO CC Forum - Manila November 2018

Teng WPRO Manila Teng Manilla Forum 2018

WHO Geneva

Teng WHO Geneva  


Second Regional Forum of WHO Collaborting Centres in the Western Pacific

WHO CC Forum 2016



Workshop on mHealth for Developing countries in Kyushu University, Japan - February 2015

eHealth Workshop

Key Contacts

Prof Teng Liaw
Professor of General Practice UNSW
Director, WHO CC for eHealth, UNSW
T +61 (2) 9385 2734

Dr Padmanesan Narasimhan
Assistant Director, WHO CC for eHealth, UNSW
T +61 (2) 9385 3944



Samuels Building (F25)
School of Public Health and Community Medicine
UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052