School of Population Health

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WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth


  • The WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth conducts global Digital Health R&D focused on the integration of citizen engagement, social enterprise and digital health practice & policy to achieve and sustain integrated person-centred health services that are safe and effective, accessible, equitable and culturally appropriate.


  • The WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth provides technical expertise and knowledge products (e.g. systematic reviews) to inform decision-making on the implementation and evaluation of digital health interventions in health systems, organisations and communities, including providers and consumers of health care; and
  • To build capacity for and strengthen Digital Health practice, management and policy in learning health organisations to achieve universal health coverage.

Terms of reference covers

  • Evidence-based implementation and evaluation of WHO activities in Digital Health.
  • Capacity building for implementation & evaluation of Digital Health.

Activities related to TORs

  • Systematic review of methodologies for capacity building, implementation and evaluation of personal, professional and organisational policies & strategies in digital health.
  • Development of tools and guides for assessment of capability maturity and readiness models for implementation of national Digital Health strategies.
  • Building capacity in implementation, research & evaluation of digital health through training and support activities.

Acrobat document  Click here to read full Terms of Reference


School of Population Health
Samuels Building (F25)
Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia



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.






  • 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



Theme 1: Enabling digital health and real-world data and evidence.
Theme 2: Facilitating digital health in practice (Internet of Medical Things).
Theme 3: Implementation, Evaluation and Evidence in Digital Health.
Theme 4: Addressing Governance, Ethics, Access and Equity.

Theme Projects

1. Real World Evidence (Data quality and interoperability)

  • ePBRN & linked datasets (LUMOS)
  • Common data model (OMOP-CDM): CDM-based data quality assessment
2. Digital Health in Practice


  • COPD
  • Cardiac failure

Community / populations

  • CKD & Tap water
  • Climate,
  • Pollen
3. Evidence-based implementation and Capacity building

Toolkits review

  • Digital Health Course

4. Governance, Ethics, Access and Equity

  • Digital Health, Social Enterprise and Citizen Engagement in Integrated Care: Framework development and Testing
  • Digital divide
  • Ethics frameworks – Patient access to data
  • Integrated governance structure for data quality assessment and management


General Overview

The WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for eHealth (AUS-135) adopts a four-year cyclical process to support WHO activities in digital health, including strategy development, implementation, capacity building and evaluation. It has 2 terms of reference:

Term of Reference 1: Development of Implementation and Evaluation toolkits  

  • To support WHO activities in eHealth in areas including strategy development, implementation, capacity building and evaluation.
  • A Systematic review on implementation and evaluation of toolkits for digital health is underway, as the first part of a wider process to design, and pilot implementation and evaluation of a toolkit based on findings and recommendations from the systematic review. The purpose of the review is to synthesise evidence on how toolkits have been operationalised in the digital health domain, from policy to practice, and to describe the level of action (organisational-community-individual), and evidence of effectiveness. The focus is on ‘knowledge-action’ digital health toolkits and to assess whether sufficient research has been done using such toolkits.
  • Depending on the sponsor of the work, the scope may be global, regional or local.

Term of Reference 2: Capacity Building for implementation and evaluation of Digital Health

  • To support WHO regional activities in eHealth in areas such as capacity building and evaluation at the country level.
  • Activity: Development of training programs for Digital Health implementation and evaluation (Current)
  • Elective course in Digital Health for the master’s program at the UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine. This course aims to provide an understanding of the key approaches and principles underpinning digital health especially in integrating design, methodology and evaluation tools. The course will focus on an in-depth understanding of the evaluation of the digital health tools by investigating into areas such as governance, structure, ethics and confidentiality. There will also be an exploration of the theoretical principles in evaluation of digital health interventions in this course.

A. WHO Projects

  • WPRO literature review: mhealth & Healthy ageing (completed)
    This research report, commissioned by WHO WPRO, was a systematic review of literature that provided evidence about the use of mHealth to support healthy ageing and age-friendly health services (8). Findings from this report informed the Regional Action Agenda to harness digital health, especially mHealth, to strengthen health systems and improve service delivery for older adults in the Western Pacific.
  • WPRO literature review: mhealth & ISD (completed)
    This systematic review, commissioned by WHO WPRO, examined how mHealth has been used in integrated service delivery in the WHO Western Pacific Region (WPR). Report findings outlined international variations in the reporting of mHealth practices and policies, warranting further regional research and development in mHealth infrastructure, interoperability standards and digital health capability maturity and readiness. This includes capacity building in mHealth implementation and evaluation for delivering Integrated People-Centred Health Services (IPCHS).
  • WPRO project: Country profiles (current)
    This is a project with WPRO and WHO officials in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) to co-create national digital health profiles to assist the them to understand their current digital health maturity in terms of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, essential digital health infrastructure, readiness for health information sharing and health system adoption. This would in turn facilitate dialogue within the countries to inform the development and scale-up of digital health solutions to address the countries’ priorities. This project is guided by the reviews on mHealth for healthy ageing (above) and integrated service delivery (above) conducted by the WHOCC team, as well as extant evidence on digital health and existing health strategies of the PICs.
  • WHO Geneva: Ethical challenges of digital technologies, machine learning & AI (current)
  • WHO Geneva: Digital health in primary health care (current)
    Following the WHO-UNICEF Global Conference on Primary Health Care held in Astana, Kazakhstan during October 2018, the WHO is developing strategies to harness digital health to strengthen PHC systems. We are conducting a review tol synthesise global evidence on implementation (pilot testing and scale-up) and evaluation of digital health interventions in primary care, to inform global planning and progress towards building effective integrated primary health systems capable of delivering  Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

B. Electronic Practice-based Research Network (ePBRN)

The ePBRN data repository at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia is a secure repository of general practice and hospital admissions data. This data is extracted from EHRs of 18 general practices and community and hospital services, including outpatient clinics, in health neighbourhoods in South Western Sydney. The data is pseudonymised, extracted and linked in a secure manner [1, 2] and includes patient demographics, medications, conditions and visits to general practices and hospitals. The linked data is used for analysis and investigation for various health research purposes [3, 4].

  • Structured data quality reports (SDQR)
    Structured data quality reports are provided to the participating practices as part of quality improvement programs to monitor and improve patient data for safety and quality monitoring, evaluation and reporting [4].
    Funding: UNSW Major Research Equipment & Infrastructure Initiative 2014-15
  • Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership – Common Data Model (OMOP-CDM)
    OMOP – CDM is a cost-effective methodology to map Australian datasets, such as the dataset of linked data from hospital and general practice EHRs from the ePBRN, to international EHR-derived datasets through the Observational Health Data Science Informatics (OHDSI) community. The first stage of  the data conversion was completed in 2018 with the GP dataset [5]. Data quality assessment and conversion of hospital data is being done from 2019 onwards. International health data harmonisation and benchmarking to support research across the continuum of care. International investigators include Professor Simon de Lusignan (University f Surrey, UK) and Professor Michael Kahn (University of Colorado, USA) .
    Funding: UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme 2017-19
  • Opioid utilisation within South Western Sydney (current)
    The early identification of opioid abusers is important to prevent opioid overdoses and death. This study uses linked routinely collected primary care data to describe the use of opioids and relating it to continuity of care and doctor-shopping behaviour. Record linkage allows the monitoring of patients as they traverse the health system, attending and using services provided by different general practices, community health services, Emergency Departments and hospitals.
  • Continuity of Care: Effect of GP utilisation on hospitalisation (current)
    Unplanned secondary care such as emergency department attendances and hospital admissions are believed to be preventable with effective disease prevention and management in primary care settings.  Evidence suggests that longitudinal continuity of primary care (a patient cared by the same GP or general practice over time) can reduce hospitalization rates [6]. In this study, we investigate the association between continuity of general practice & primary care, and hospital admissions using routinely collected data in the primary and secondary care settings.
    A paediatric subset of this database will be used as a real-world cohort to test establishing an electronic data repository of real-world data from electronic health record systems in primary care, community health and Local Health Districts for child health research.
    Investigators: Eapen V, Lingam R, Jalaludin Bin, Chay P, Liaw ST.
  • TTANGO2: Natural language processing of pathology results and progress notes to improve data quality to examine antibiotic resistance
    Investigators: Causer L, Jonnagaddala J, Guy R, Boyle DIR, Liaw ST.
    Funding: UNSW SPHERE Triple-I Clinical Academic Stream)
  • Enabling personalised cohort studies from large repositories of clinical practice data
    Investigators: Gallego-Luxan B, Dunn A, Liaw ST
    Funding 2017-19: NHMRC#1125414

C. eHealth Applications

  • Preventing falls associated with cytotoxic peripheral neuropathy (wearable)
    Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common and debilitating side effect of commonly used cancer treatments. At present, there is no effective treatment or cure. The InFocus research project is working towards finding effective assessment and treatment strategies for CIPN.  CIPN patients are at high risk of falls and in this project, iPhone-based sensors are used to detect falls.
  • COPD telemonitoring for early detection of acute exacerbations
    Pilot study: Smart telemonitoring to predict and detect Acute exacerbations of COPD early.
    Investigators: Celler B, Jenkins C, Peiris D, Argha A, Liaw, ST.
    Funding: UNSW SPHERE Respiratory, Sleep, Environment and Occupational Health Clinical Academic Stream
  • Total cardiac care telemonitoring for early detection of cardiac failure
    Pilot project on telemonitoring and early detection of exacerbations of CHF.
    Investigators: Ooi SY, Lovel N, Delaware K, Liaw ST, Celler B, Caplan G, Gallagher R, Patel A, Brodie M, Jorm L.
    Funding: NSW Health Translational grant scheme, National Heart Foundation
  • Integrated care using Digital health in LMICs
    • Digital health platforms for Integrated care in Tuberculosis and Diabetes in India
      Investigators: Narasimhan P, Hall J, Devarsetty P, Anbarasu A, Raj T, Gary K
      Funding: UNSW India Seed Grant
    • Functional integration of informal healthcare practitioners in Tuberculosis control in India using mHealth
      Investigators: Narasimhan P, Jayasuriya R, Mukherjee P, Hall J
    • Integrated care for HIV and NCD care in India
      Investigators: Narasimhan P, Joshi R, Venkataramani M, Solomon SS, Liaw ST
    • mHealth for improving adherence among hypertensive patients in Nepal
      Investigators: Narasimhan P, Jayasuriya R, Vaidya A
  • Early Childhood Development
    The 'Watch Me Grow’ App for identification of developmental and mental health problems in early childhood: a validation study.
    Investigators: Kohloff J, Eapen V, Pritchard M, Williams K, Liaw ST, Murphy E, Bin J, Woolfenden S, Ong N, Eastwood J, Schmied V.  
    Funding: Ramaciotti Health Investment Grant, 2017-2019

D. PhD projects

  • Digital Health, Social Enterprise & Citizen Engagement in Integrated Care: Framework development & testing (Current)
    PhD Student: Dr Myron Anthony Godinho
    Integrated care brings together inputs, delivery, management and organization of services related to diagnosis, treatment, care, rehabilitation and health promotion, in order to create connectivity, alignment and collaboration within and between the cure and care sectors (on funding, administrative, organisational, service delivery and clinical levels), to ultimately improve services in relation to access, quality, user satisfaction and efficiency. This interdisciplinary project aims to understand how Social Enterprise, Digital Health, and Citizen Engagement can be used to implement the WHO Framework on Integrated, Patient-Centred Health Services.


  1. Boyle, D. and N. Rafael, BioGrid Australia and GRHANITE™: privacy-protecting subject matching. Studies in health technology and informatics, 2011. 168: p. 24-34.
  2. Liaw, S.-T. and D. Boyle. Secure data linkage and information sharing with GRHANITE. in HIC 2008 Conference: Australias Health Informatics Conference; The Person in the Centre, August 31-September 2, 2008 Melbourne Convention Centre. 2008. Health Informatics Society of Australia.
  3. Kohler, F., et al., Integrated Health Care–a population health approach in South Western Sydney. International Journal of Integrated Care, 2014. 14(9).
  4. Taggart, J., S.T. Liaw, and H. Yu, Structured data quality reports to improve EHR data quality. Int J Med Inform, 2015. 84(12): p. 1094-8.
  5. Farshid, S., et al., Harmonising primary care data using international standard vocabularies for observational research. Zenodo, 2018.
  6. Lin, W., et al., Continuity of diabetes care is associated with avoidable hospitalizations: evidence from Taiwan's National Health Insurance scheme. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 2009. 22(1): p. 3-8.
  7. WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth. Terms of Reference: AUS 135 WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth.
  8. Liaw, ST, Ansari S, Jonnagaddala J, et al. A review of the use of mHealth to promote healthy ageing and support the delivery of age-friendly health care services in the Western Pacific Region. (Report currently under peer review by WHO WPRO).
  9. Godinho MA, Jonnagaddala J, Gudi N, et al. mHealth in integrated service delivery: A Systematic Review. Final Report. UNSW Sydney. 2018.



Digital Health Course (PHCM9790)

Digital health is “a broad umbrella term encompassing eHealth as well as developing areas of computing sciences in the fields of “big data”, genomics and artificial intelligence (AI)”. It emphasises digital consumers, with a wider range of smart-devices and connected equipment used through the Internet of Things (IoTs) and personalized health and medicine. Digital health will drive the transformation of the healthcare industry especially with the increasing role of the health care consumer, mobile technology and AI-driven precision medicine. The exponential growth of digital health requires the next generation of health professionals to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully adopt and use appropriate digital solutions in their health settings. The focus is on the implementation and evaluation of digital health technologies on the heath system, health organisations, health professionals and citizens. The course will stimulate critical appraisal and understanding of the indicators of successful implementation, outputs and impacts of digital health tools and applications, data quality and interoperability standards, governance and social, legal and ethical challenges. These will be viewed through a framework for digital health maturity and the principles in evaluation of digital health interventions. <See details>

Fellows / Interns / Students

Potential Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates, 6UOC School of Population Health postgraduate students are invited to submit expressions of interest to undertake research/internship at the WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth.



Image SEARO presentation   Image APAMI

WHO South-East Asia Regional Technical Consultation on Digital Health Policy and Practice, New Delhi 28 February - 1 March 2019 - Prof Teng Liaw


APAMI 2018 – Asia-Pacific Association for Medical Informatics - Presentation on mHealth for Integrated Service Delivery in the Western Pacific Region: A Systematic Review - Dr Myron Godinho

Image APIC 2019   Image - PHIN Meeting

APIC Conference 2019 – Digital Health, Social Enterprise & Citizen Engagement for Integrated People-Centred Health Services - Dr Myron Godinho


Pacific Health Information Network Meeting (PHIN), 11-12 July 2019 Noumea, New Caledonia


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