Welcome from the Director

Professor Louisa Jorm

Louisa JormWelcome to the Centre for Big Data Research in Health (CBDRH).

The Centre for Big Data Research in Health is the first Australian research centre dedicated to health research using big data. Our aim is to maximise the productive use of all possible sources of health big data in order to enhance the health and well being of Australians and the global community.

 “Big data” have no agreed definition, but the term is in general applied to data that by virtue of their size and/or complexity pose challenges to traditional methods for management and analysis. In health, such data include the millions of records that are generated routinely by health services, real-time clinical data captured at the point-of-care, genomic data produced in research and clinical settings, and health-related data generated by the population at large through technologies such as wearable devices and social media. We sit at a key point in history, where big data are poised to become become a dominant driver in what happens in health and health care.

To ensure that our research has real impact, we are committed to an approach of research co-creation, which brings together academics, consumers, clinicians, and service and policy organisations to frame relevant research questions, create research designs that apply to real-world contexts, and commit to implementing the research and its findings more broadly. We are privileged to have many enthusiastic partners in our work, including government agencies, health organisations from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, research funders, clinicians, health consumers and community members.

We operate as a hub for collaborative interdisciplinary research, methodological development and training, providing opportunities for researchers from diverse backgrounds to come together, share insights, experiment with new approaches, form new partnerships and train new generations of researchers. In particular, we aim to foster the rapid implementation of new methods from disciplines including mathematics, statistics and computer science into practical applications within health. We are actively fostering a broad community of researchers who are adept in advanced analytic methods, agile in adopting new techniques, and who embody best practices in data security and privacy protection.

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