Healthy Ageing Data Platform
‘Using the power of large data to develop, inform and influence
national solutions for health and care related to ageing’
The NCHA is establishing a world-leading Healthy Ageing Data Platform that incorporates high quality and integrated data systems to support research, evidence-based solutions and learning for high priority areas of health-related to ageing.
Did you know?
The number and proportion of older Australians are expected to continue to grow. In 2017, over 1 in 7 Australians were aged 65 years and over. By 2057, it is projected there will be 8.8 million older people in Australia (22 per cent of the population) source.
The NCHA is establishing a world-leading Healthy Ageing Data Platform. We incorporate high quality and integrated data systems to support research, evidence-based solutions and learning for high priority areas of health related to ageing.
Our aim is to assist clinicians and researchers in maximising the use of routinely collected health data in order to:
- Obtain an in-depth understanding of the clinical, social, geographic and health service factors that influence healthy ageing.
- Develop and evaluate solutions that address areas of national and international importance, and meet the future needs of ageing populations.
Data Platform offers a structure that will allow new computational tools to be connected to the platform. In addition, consumers engaging with the platform will be able to provide feedback on research and interact further to gain knowledge about their healthcare journey.
The platform builds on global collaborations, building on successful models, and utilises leading data infrastructure already established in the geographically defined Frankston-Mornington Peninsula region in Victoria, Australia. The platform employs cutting edge and future-proof analytical techniques such as data linkage, deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and natural language processing for effective and efficient interpretation of different kinds of data. It is supported by established ethics committees and governance frameworks to ensure that data safety practices and protocols are rigorous and well trusted by the public.
Ultimately, the platform will provide an easy-to-use integrated data environment to help consumers, researchers and health providers identify gaps in knowledge for important ageing-related priorities, support the conduct of the highest quality research to generate insights into solutions, allow the implementation and efficient testing of innovative solutions, and enable learning systems that allow scaling of these solutions nationally and internationally.
The Data Platform team provides an overview.
The team has been involved with various researchers, academics and clinicians in some of the most exciting projects.
The dementia project is leveraging electronic medical records linked with routinely collected health department data such as Medicare, Pharmaceutical and age care data, to enable the generation of high-quality algorithms. Led by Prof Velandai Srikanth, these algorithms will be applied nationally to monitor dementia prevalence across Australia. The Data Platform enabled efficient screening and identification of patients for recruitment to cohorts used for algorithm validation, allowed identification of data items for inclusion in predictive algorithms, and demonstrated the feasibility of population linkages with state and Commonwealth held health data.
The data platform enabled rapid analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital presentations and admissions within a tertiary, metropolitan health service in Melbourne, Australia over two waves of community transmission. Using advanced forecasting techniques in collaboration with Monash University Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics and led by Dr Taya Collyer, researchers were able to identify groups at risk of health deterioration in a COVID environment. Data from this project has the capacity to be scaled to a national level and guide public health or clinical responses.
Through this collaborative project led by A/Prof Nadine Andrew, the Data Platform will deliver a digital health solution that will address specific challenges concerning the secure, cross sector sharing of information during aged care transfers. The digital solution will be accessible using a range of devices that will provide point-of-care clinicians and Residential Aged Care staff, residents and their families, with information considered critical during the transfer of people living in Residential Aged Care. This project is supported by a Medical Research Future Fund grant and will leverage the data infrastructure and research capabilities of the NCHA Data Platform.
The pressure injury monitoring project led by Prof Carolina Weller will map and compare existing pressure injury data and harmonise data across four Monash Partners health services to develop a suite of tools for accurate and nationwide monitoring of pressure injuries. The Data Platform developed a proof of concept framework for secure transfer of data to a secure research analysis environment (SeRP) and generation of a statistical linkage key for testing linkage software within SeRP to enable tracking of patients across the four participating health services.
Supported by funding from the NCHA Living Labs and led by A/Prof Neilson Suzanne Nielsen, the Data Platform will extract data to support researchers to identify where and when patients with alcohol and other drug (AOD)-related harms present in the health service system. Analysis of linked datasets will enable mapping of the patients’ experiences of their AOD treatment journeys and characterize these populations to identify groups who may not be represented in the treatment system. Find out more
In collaboration with Monash Partners and Kings College (UK), the Data Platform is contributing to the development of technical capabilities to drive improvement in patient care. Technical implementation is being led by A/Prof Richard Beare. Utilising the CogStack application framework and Natural Language Processing (NLP), researchers will extract, harmonise and process information from unstructured text data, allowing clinical text to be annotated and subsequently searched for specific terms. The Data Platform will pilot this process as a proof of concept method for automating the review of medical records for research purposes.
Data Platform team
Chair - Professor Velandai Srikanth
Prof Velandai Srikanth is an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow and has been the recipient of continuous fellowships from the NHMRC and the Heart Foundation over the last 10 years.His program of research spans several aspects of ageing health.
Velandai's primary interest is in the study of risk factors and mechanisms underlying dementia, particularly with respect to vascular and metabolic health. He has also led the field in the study of the impact of brain ageing on impaired mobility and the risk of falls, and in the link between brain ageing, gait and cognition. He actively collaborates in large scale initiatives in the genetics of brain ageing and risk stratification for the secondary prevention of stroke.
Research Data Lead - Associate Professor Nadine Andrew
“The Healthy Ageing Data Platform is an amazing opportunity to build a comprehensive system of data to support research into models of care that will improve and enable the health of the local community, whilst developing solutions for nationally important dilemmas relevant to ageing”
A/Prof Nadine Andrew is the research data lead for the National Centre for Healthy Ageing and a Senior Research Fellow, working in the Peninsula Clinical School, Central Clinical School, Monash University. Nadine is an epidemiologist and health services researcher who is recognised nationally for her work in data linkage having led a number of projects in this field.
Nadine was one of the researchers responsible for designing the NCHA Health Research Data Platform which will underpin the centre’s research and translational activities. Her academic research focus is answering questions about what constitutes best-practice care for patients with stroke, dementia and other chronic diseases of ageing, aimed at maximising long-term quality of life.
Technical Lead - Associate Professor Richard Beare
“The Healthy Ageing Data Platform will allow us to efficiently do many things using routinely collected data, for example, finding relevant clinical information from free-text records that give us insights into ageing-related health, enhancing health data communication with aged care providers, developing sophisticated predictive analytical tools to assist in solving important health system problems related to ageing”
A/Prof Richard Beare is the technical lead for the National Centre for Healthy Ageing Data Platform project and a Senior Research Fellow, working in the Peninsula Clinical School, Central Clinical School, Monash University. Richard is a research engineer with many years of experience delivering computational solutions to medical research problems. Richard was one of the researchers responsible for designing the NCHA Health Research Data Platform which will underpin the centre’s research and translational activities. His academic focus is the development of computational tools to medical address research questions and advance clinical care and health service performance and he will develop artificial intelligence tools that will help researchers effectively utilize the structured and unstructured data in the Data Platform.
Post-Doc Research Fellow – Dr David Snowdon
Dr David Snowdon completed his PhD in 2018 on the effectiveness of clinical supervision for allied health professionals working in the public health system. He has experience implementing new models of care and facilitating the uptake of evidence-based practice in the public hospital setting.
Prior to joining the NCHA Data Platform, David held the position of Allied Health Research Lead at Peninsula Health. This role involved supporting allied health clinicians to conduct research, facilitating the uptake of evidence-based practice and conducting original research in the allied health professions. David also has experience implementing new models of care on two large NHMRC funded projects.
Data Operations Manager - Tanya Ravipati
“The Healthy Ageing Data Platform will allow researchers and other end-users to understand the consumer’s health requirements, which in turn will provide an opportunity to conduct targeted and large data-driven analysis to improve models of care, for example in aged care settings”
Tanya Ravipati is an engineer and project manager with over 15 years of experience in IT management, data management and project management in the private and public sectors. Tanya joins the NCHA to focus on health information management coding data, building and sustaining effective working relationships with stakeholders and to develop and implement quality improvement activities related to data entry and data coding.
Tanya was a Budget Strategy Manager at the Department of Health and Human Services’ administrative agency for family violence, advising the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence about budget allocation and performance. Tanya has also worked at multiple public hospitals over a 6 year period with responsibilities ranging from funding coordination, health datasets management, collaborating with EMR developers, designing and developing databases, performance reporting and training clinical and nonclinical staff to optimise routinely collected administrative data quality.
Project Co-ordinator – Dr Emily Parker
“The Healthy Ageing Data Platform will facilitate the use of high-quality data to drive improvements in the way people seek out and access care, and study ways to promote health and wellbeing in ageing across the lifespan”
Dr Emily Parker has a PhD in basic science and expertise in the early phase set up and ongoing management of national research projects, including clinical quality registries, human biospecimen biobanking and large-scale community based randomized controlled trials. Emily joins the NCHA to coordinating the development of the NCHA data platform, including data management and ethics, governance, data access and sharing processes of the research platform.
Prior to joining the NCHA Data Platform, Emily spent 12 years at Monash University as a Project Manager in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, working across multiple projects including the ASPREE Clinical Trial, ASPREE Healthy Ageing Biobank and the Australian Breast Device Registry.
NLP Engineer – Dr Ming Liu
Dr Ming Liu is the Natural Language Processing Engineer for the Healthy Ageing Data Platform. Ming has a PhD in Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.
His academic interest includes Active Learning and Weak Supervision for NLP, Text Generation, Knowledge Graph and Recommendation.
Prior to joining the Healthy Ageing Data Platform, Ming spent three years at Deakin University as a research fellow and one year in Alfred Health as a biomedical NLP research scientist.
Senior Research Assistant – Kim Naude
Dr Kim Naude is a pharmacist and has recently completed her PhD exploring the barriers to accessing medicines, pharmacy services and the health system for resettled refugees from Africa. She has broad experience in health literacy, pharmacy and public health research.
Kim joins the NCHA team to assist with community engagement for the data platform. She is especially interested in finding out how consumers feel about health data use in research projects and ensuring sustainability of the platform through shared ownership and benefit.
Senior Research Assistant – Lucy Marsh
Lucy Marsh joins us after five years at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, with a Master of Public Health and experience working across various projects including longitudinal studies on patient outcomes after trauma and ICU admission, clinical trials in oncology and most recently, the Coordinator of a national multi-site clinical quality registry.
Through research roles at the Victorian State Trauma Registry, the PREDICT study and the Australasian Pelvic Floor Procedure Registry, Lucy brings experience in the administration and assessment of patient reported outcome measures (PROMS).
Senior Research Assistant - Elizabeth Le
Elizabeth will assist with data management and help to provide quality data for the research platform. She has a background in health information management and public health.
Junior Research Assistant - Jennifer Muresan
Jennifer has recently joined the team with the focus of health information management coded data. Jennifer has a background in health information management, including clinical coding.