Ex-biomedical chief heads-up IT at CSIRO

New chief to drive research awareness

The CSIRO has appointed a former biomedical executive to head up the organisation’s ICT arm, the Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC).

Dr Phil Gurney replaces CEO, Gary Morgan, who moved to deputy director of operations for the CSIRO’s ICT centre. He said AEHRC will need to extend its engagement with the medical community to ensure its research is adopted.

Dr Gurney was previously a senior executive at Leica Biosystems, where he focused on developing market opportunities for tissue pathology research, and led the acquisition of a US pathology image-analysis company and development of error minimisation in pathology sample handling.

Brisbane-based AEHRC was established in 2003 as a joint venture between CSIRO and the Queensland government to advance ICT health research. It recently received some $20 million in government funding to support its operations until 2012, through which it will deliver to CSIRO's Preventative Health Flagship.

Research at the AEHRC is leading to the development of simulated training tools, home monitoring systems for patients recovering from heart problems, and improved imaging techniques to facilitate early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.

Advanced software tools are also being used to analyse data sets to help improve cancer care, better understand the risks associated with anaesthesia, and enable secure and ready access of electronic medical records for health professionals.

The AEHRC has recently developed the SNOrocket tool to classify medical records, which is being incorporated in the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation workbench to underscore the development of electronic health records.

- with Rodney Gedda

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