Equity through Digital Health

Equity through Digital Health

Monash has founded the interdisciplinary collaboration 'Network for Equity through Digital Health'.

Through this initiative, we're using digital health as a vehicle to address health and wellness inequalities across Australia and surrounding countries.

Network for Equity through Digital Health (NEED)

NEED is an interdisciplinary collaboration that will use digital health as a vehicle to address health and wellness inequalities across Australia, and in surrounding countries.


The goals of NEED

Aligned with Monash University’s vision for global impact, NEED will enhance access to high-quality healthcare and wellbeing in underserved communities through critical digital health research.

NEED will also fortify the relationship between Monash University across Australia and Malaysia, given the natural synergy of this agenda with parts of South-East Asia in particular.

The measures of success? When NEED has:

  • delivered value to the targeted communities through research, development and education
  • made meaningful contributions to high-quality academic publications in relevant areas
  • grown network membership at individual, faculty and institutional levels
  • secured self-sourced grants and other research income streams
  • hosted a series of well-attended academic and industry events
  • received reinvestment from Monash after the first three years
  • engaged government and policymakers in digital health for underserved communities.

Well-placed to drive positive change

Our Malaysia campus sits at the heart of Southeast Asia and we hold strong relationships with many healthcare organisations and government agencies. This means we’re well-placed to drive positive change in surrounding communities through innovation and leadership.

The opportunities to influence through the multidisciplinary field of digital health research align closely with our strategic priorities. By investing in this area through NEED, we’re able to bring our vision to life.

Professor Andrew Walker, Founding Partner of NEED

Key focus areas

NEED will target less developed and underserved communities in Australia, and the Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asian regions – locations which have low access to technology and digital literacy. This encompasses for example, rural and regional areas in Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh and the Pacific Islands.

Research and funding for projects will be based on need, determined by factors such as the gap in health or wellness and how it can be bridged through digital health research.

NEED can easily cater for multiple research perspectives across both STEM and HASS disciplines.

How you can get involved

If you're a Monash researcher that shares our vision and can actively help us bring it to life, we encourage you to join us. If you’re interested in joining us, contact NEED lead Professor Chris Bain directly.

We're also looking to forge meaningful partnerships with governments, industry, not-for-profits and other universities who want to champion disadvantaged communities. These will be vital for the medium and long-term sustainability of NEED.

As one of our partners, you'll be able to tap into the pool of expertise and practical collaboration opportunities available through the NEED network.

The Founding Partners of NEED

Chris Bain

Professor Chris Bain

Digital Health Lead, Faculty of Information Technology
Monash University (Australia)

Chris Bain is the inaugural Professor of Practice in Digital Health at Monash University in the Faculty of Information Technology. He has more than 25 years' experience in the health industry, including 12 in clinical medicine.

Professor Bain has led numerous software development and implementation projects in clinical and management support areas, resulting in a range of prototype and fully implemented systems.

A large part of his work also involves helping to drive the Monash University's initiatives in digital health, working in collaboration with other faculties, a range of Monash institutes and various external partners.

Professor Andrew Walker

Professor Andrew Walker

Pro Vice-Chancellor and President
Monash University (Malaysia)

Professor Walker's position at Monash Malaysia allows him to blend his two passions – Southeast Asia and educational innovation.

Over the past 30 years, Professor Walker has been a regular visitor to the region, conducting research on cross-border trade, environmental management and rural development.

Since his appointment as Pro Vice-Chancellor and President in 2017, Professor Walker has been committed to consolidating Monash Malaysia's position as Monash's platform for scholarly engagement with the dynamic Southeast Asian region.