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Australian Digital Health Agency and CSIRO to Boost Healthcare System


The Australian Digital Health Agency and Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO’s Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) have launched a new collaboration combining their skills and expertise to deliver a centre of excellence for connectivity across the Australian healthcare system, through the National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS).

The CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency stated that the Agency’s collaboration on the use of innovative digital services through its partnership with AEHRC would create a world-leading terminology service and capability for Australia. She noted that it will further strengthen both organisations’ reputations as leaders in clinical terminology.

Under the new partnership, the Agency retains responsibility for governance and the strategic role of end-to-end management, SNOMED CT licensing and the relationship with SNOMED International, while CSIRO will deliver the services and functions required to manage the NCTS, as well as content authoring and tooling.

The collaboration intends to enable connectivity across all healthcare settings. This is achieved through driving future interoperability standards and governance discussions across different systems and healthcare settings to improve connectivity.

The CEO of AEHRC stated that the partnership presents an exciting opportunity to improve the connectedness of Australia’s healthcare system. He noted that the services that the AEHRC provides help enable different parts of the system to ‘talk’ to one another, enabling smoother health service delivery, reduced patient burden and fewer costs.

The NCTS currently provides terminology services and tools that include an online browser, a mapping and authoring platform and CSIRO’s national syndication server (Ontoserver). To date, more than 100 organisations in Australia have accessed the Ontoserver licence through the NCTS sublicence – lowering the barrier to the adoption of interoperability standards in our health records. It is hoped that this extended partnership will see adoption escalate further.

Over the next five years, work will continue through this partnership to refresh other NCTS tooling and develop terminology content published through the NCTS. This will further improve health information connectivity for Australian consumers and healthcare providers.

About the Australian Digital Health Agency

With regards to improving the health of all Australians, the role of digital innovation and connection is a crucial aspect of a modern, accessible healthcare system. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, digital health has seen exponential growth in relevance and importance, making it more pertinent than ever for all Australians and healthcare providers.

Better patient healthcare and health outcomes are possible when you have a health infrastructure that can be safely accessed, easily used and responsibly shared. The Australian Digital Health Agency is a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity.


CSIRO works to develop solutions via innovative science and technology. It is Australia’s national science agency and innovation catalyst, collaborating to boost Australia’s innovation performance.

The Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) is CSIRO’s digital health research program – enabling the digital transformation of healthcare to improve services and clinical treatment for Australians. The agency has world-leading capability in areas such as clinical terminology and data interoperability; health data analytics; clinical image analysis; genomics data analytics and engineering; biostatistics, mobile health, telehealth and health internet of things, amongst many others.

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