Three medical people looking at medical images on a vertical clear screen

Despite the growing national investment in consumer personal health record systems, we know little about their impact on health outcomes, or the types of errors that are associated with their use. Given the importance of disease prevention and self-management in the chronically ill, the CRE is trialing a consumer e-health system to measure its potential impact on outcomes or service utilisation.

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 questions:
1. Impact of Consumer E-health: Can ICT improve our health outcomes?
2. Design of Consumer E-health: How can we design ICT that will improve our health in a positive way?
3. Science of Consumer E-health: What is the foundational understanding that underpins the way we design and use ICT for consumers, patients and carers?

Current projects
Mobile In Hand

Personal Health Management System (

As consumers we use advanced information systems every day – from social media like Facebook and Twitter, to online shopping and banking. Healthcare is only now turning to these technologies as ways of engaging with consumers in all aspects of their care.

We have been working for several years now to understand how consumer technologies should be designed, and what their harms and benefits might be. With support from the HCF Foundation we developed an innovative E-health research platform, which has allowed us to work with many different clinical groups to study how web-based and mobile applications affect consumers to engage in the management of their own health.

Social Network Interventions for Consumer Health

Social processes underpin everything from our lifestyle choices, our health decisions, to the way healthcare is conceived and delivered. Social media—information tools that both exploit and celebrate our social nature—are beginning to be used across healthcare. However, could social media have an even stronger role? Could they enable us to treat socially-shaped diseases such as obesity, depression, diabetes, and heart disease?

In this research, we investigate ways we can design “social network intervention” to change the network around us to achieve better health outcomes.

Media links

For more information or to join our team

Contact Dr Annie Lau,, +61 2 9850 2436