Centre for Health Informatics | AIHI - Australian Institute of Health Innovation

Centre for Health Informatics | AIHI - Australian Institute of Health Innovation

About the Centre

Founded in 1999 by Professor Enrico Coiera, the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) is Australia's largest academic research group in this emerging discipline. CHI is one of three research centres within the Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI). CHI is also the lead agency of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in e-health (CRE).

The Centre for Health Informatics work is internationally recognised for its groundbreaking contributions in the development of intelligent search systems to support evidence-based healthcare, developing evaluation methodologies for IT, and in understanding how communication shapes the safety and quality of health care delivery. 

The Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) is building an international reputation as a research leader in the application of information technology to healthcare. Its principal aim is to map the complex organisational systems that shape today’s health system and to design rigorous, system-wide interventions that provide a sustainable platform for future health systems, locally and internationally.

The Centre’s main activities are the development of intelligent systems to support evidence-based healthcare, the development and application of evaluation tools to assess the impacts of information technology in healthcare, and fostering an awareness of how management and communication systems shape the safety and quality of healthcare delivery.

The Centre conceives that the potential use of information and communication technology in healthcare settings will occur incrementally in some areas and radically in others. It also acknowledges that while some changes in healthcare are highly predictable, others are clouded by an uncertain, and potentially chaotic future.

The Centre for Health Informatics is a research partner to major healthcare providers, research institutions and governments, including the New South Wales Department of Health, the National Institute of Clinical Studies and the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Australian Patient Safety Foundation, the Commission for Quality and Safety in Healthcare, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Divisions of General Practice, and Therapeutic Guidelines Limited.

Our industry partnerships have resulted in two spinoff companies and we actively work with industry to deliver innovative and targeted solutions based on research evidence. Our students have gone on to have promising careers as researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs.

Driving change in healthcare

The Centre for Health Informatics drives change in healthcare and biomedicine by making contributions to:


Break-through discoveries in information, communication, cognitive and organisational science needed to support health service innovation and biomedical researchers.


Providing expert input and leadership into government, shaping e-health policy priorities and goals.


Invention of novel information technologies and methods that can transfer into industry and health services.


Training future researchers through postgraduate research degrees, and educating clinicians, technologists and policy makers in health informatics through postgraduate programs.

Join our team or partner with us

We welcome research scientists with a background as clinicians, computer scientists, doctors, engineers and students to join our team. We invite industry to partner with us to create business opportunities through research and innovation.

Our research areas 


The Centre for Health Informatics leads the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in e-health which commenced operation in 2012. Investigators in the CRE come from Macquarie University, the University of NSW, Sydney University, Bond University, and the University of South Australia. Professor Coiera directs the $2.5 million CRE, whose work program includes new collaborative research between the Centre for Health Informatics at Macquarie University and its four partner Universities. Find out more about the CRE at ehealth.edu.au


Mr Tom Bowden, PhD Student
Mr Tobias Hodgson, PhD Student
Mr David Lyell, PhD Student
Mr Ken Lee, MPhil Student

Media links

For more information or to join our team

Contact Professor Enrico Coiera, enrico.coiera@mq.edu.au+61 2 9850 2403

Patient safety informatics

Information technology (IT) or e-health is integral to the modern day transformations of healthcare delivery systems to improve quality and safety. IT is also becoming a key enabler for encouraging patients to actively participate in healthcare processes for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. At the same time e-health can introduce new, often unforseen, errors that can affect the safety and quality of care and may lead to patient harm.

It is now widely recognized that problems with IT systems and their use can pose risks to patient safety. Notably IT-related risks, like those associated with faulty equipment, have the potential to affect many patients simultaneously and can lead to harm on a large scale with single events affecting tens to thousands of patients. Because IT systems are usually implemented at scale e.g. for a hospital, healthcare system or nationally, the opportunity for harm can be significantly increased if safety of the IT systems themselves is not improved.

Our research program takes a cross-disciplinary approach to tackle the e-health safety on a number of fronts by making theoretical, methodological and policy contributions. We monitor the safety of e‑health using reports of critical incidents and automated methods for surveillance of IT systems. We are also investigating models for the safety governance of e-health. 

We welcome clinicians, information technologists, engineers and students who wish to pursue excellence in informatics and share our passion for improving the safety e-health through good design and the appropriate application of technology.  


Associate Professor Farah Magrabi, Team Leader
Dr Ying Wang, Research Fellow
Dr Mi-Ok Kim, Post-doctoral Research Fellow 
Dr Mei-Sing Ong, Visiting Fellow

Current projects

Media links

For more information or to join our team

Contact Associate Professor Farah Magrabi, farah.magrabi@mq.edu.au, +61 2 9850 2429

Health analytics

The unprecedented availability of digital biomedical data and enabling technology to collect, store and analyse this data, has just started to transform health care from traditional models to learning health care systems, where research and practice are integrated in a sustained manner. These new learning health care systems require new methods where analytics are performed in real time at the point-of-care. At the Health Analytics Lab at AIHI, we are designing, developing and testing such models so that they can be implemented in future Electronic Health Record systems.

Our core strength lies in the combination of deep analytic and computing theory and methods with understanding of clinical decision support systems. This enables us to advance the scientific knowledge of health analytics while translating our research. We welcome researchers, clinicians and students who wish to pursue excellence in analytics and technology and share a common interest in health informatics.


Dr Blanca Gallego Luxan, Team Leader
Dr Thierry Wendling, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Dr William Tong, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Ms Georgina Kennedy, PhD Student & Research Assistant
Dr Christoph Camphausen, MPhil Student
Dr Appukutty Manickman, PhD Student
Dr Mohammed Khalifa, PhD Student
Dr Thilo Schuler, PhD Student
Mr Aidan O'Brien, MRes Student
Ms Maisie Lee, Intern
Dr Oscar Perez-Concha, Visiting Fellow

Current projects

For more information or to join our team

Contact Dr Blanca Gallego-Luxan, blanca.gallegoluxan@mq.edu.au +61 2 9850 2435

Consumer informatics

Focusing on those with the highest stake in our healthcare system, our research program investigates the ‘impact’, ‘design’, and ‘science’ of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on consumers, patients and their carers.

Our research program is unique nationally and internationally.  It addresses three primary research aims:

  1. Impact of Consumer E-Health: How does ICT affect our health decisions, behaviours, and outcomes?
  2. Design of Consumer E-Health: How can we design ICT that would improve our engagement with health services?
  3. Science of Consumer E-Health: What is the theoretical understanding that underpins the way we use and design ICT for consumers, patients and carers?

(Collaborations are warmly welcome.  Student projects are available upon request.)


Dr Annie Lau, Team Leader
Dr Liliana Laranjo,  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Mr Jingbo Liu, Software Engineer
Ms Paige Newman, Research Officer
Ms Ly Tong, PhD Student & Research Assistant

Current projects

Media links

For more information or to join our team

Contact Dr Annie Lau, annie.lau@mq.edu.au, +61 2 9850 2436

Computable evidence lab

The Centre for Health Informatics' Computable Evidence Lab (CEL) members research how clinical decisions can be made quickly and safely based on evidence. We focus on ways in which automation can help gather, synthesize and disseminate evidence to inform decision making at the right place and time for the decision.

There are three main themes across the lab:

  1. Machine Learning - algorithms that find patterns in data for a variety of applications such as prediction, classification and artificial intelligence.
  2. Natural Language Processing - algorithms that find, appraise and extract information from text.
  3. Heuristic Systems - rule based systems that encapsulate and use domain expertise to solve a particular problem.

Evidence based medicine already provides a robust model for gathering, synthesis and dissemination of evidence in the systematic review model. At CEL we follow this model for different kinds of evidence summaries and different kinds of evidence from sources such as genomics and electronic health records. The Computable Evidence Lab is leading the way for new ways to think about evidence. Evidence should be ubiquitous, inexpensive and available to enable safe and effective healthcare systems.


Dr Guy Tsafnat, Team Leader
Dr George Karystianis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Mr Vitaliy Kim, Senior Programmer
Ms Vimala Jacob, Database Architect
Mr Michael Van Treeck, Programmer
Mr Atapatu (Sachith) Algama, Programmer
Mr Nan Zhou, PhD Student
Dr Miew-Keen Choong, Visiting Fellow 

Current projects

For more information or to join our team

Contact Dr Guy Tsafnat, guy.tasfnat@mq.edu.au, +61 2 9850 2430

Evidence surveillance

Our aims are to observe and measure the systems of knowledge transfer in medical evidence. Using data mining, network science, and machine learning, we undertake projects that examine networks of interacting researchers, clinical trials, clinicians, and the communities they serve. Our broad focus includes the entire pipeline of evidence translation – from the design and undertaking of clinical trials, through the reporting and synthesis of evidence in published research and the media, and into the use of clinical evidence in policy, practice, and the decision-making of clinicians and their patients.


Dr Adam Dunn, Team Leader
Dr Didi Surian, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Ms Paige Martin, Research Officer
Ms Rabia Bashir, PhD Student

Current projects

Media links

For more information or to join our team

Contact Dr Adam, adam.dunn@mq.edu.au, +61 2 9850 2413

Centre management

Ms Jenny Waldie, Business Manager
Ms Denise Tsiros, Manager Operations & Students

Our staff

Resources related to this Centre




  1. Lau, A. Participatory Health through Social Media, 1st Ed from Shabbir Syed-Abdul, Elia Gabarron. Academic Press, 2016
  2. Coiera E. Guide to Health Informatics. 3rd ed. United Kingdom: CRC Press Imprint; 2015.
  3. Sintchenko, V (Ed). Infectious disease Informatics, Springer, 2010
  4. Sintchenko V. Decision by design: Decision support for antibiotic prescribing in critical care. Saarbrucken: VDM-Verlag Dr Müller; 2009. 
  5. Westbrook JI, Coiera EW, Callen JL, Aarts J (eds). Information technology in Health Care 2007, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information Technology in Health Care; Socio-technical approaches, IOS Press, 311pp.
  6. Lau, A. The impact of cognitive biases on information searching and decision making, UNSW, 2006
  7. Fieshi M, Coiera E, Li Y (eds). Proceedings of the 11th World Congress on Medical Informatics – Medinfo 2004, IOS Press, 2 vols.

 Annual Reports

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