Improving health and shared decision making with innovative use of data

The Epidemiology Informatics research group uses Victorian health-related data to ask questions about child and family health. Through this research, we aim to improve care and policies for children and families.

Our group includes clinicians, data experts and consumer engagement members who work with national and international partners to understand how we can best use data to improve health outcomes.

We work with hospitals, general practice, government, social media, young Victorians and many private organisations that are committed to using electronic information to improve health. Most of the information we work with is de-identified.

Our five research pillars are:

  1. Direct patient care
  2. Patient care processes
  3. Public health
  4. Population health and policy
  5. Consumer engagement

Our initial focus areas include childhood infections, vaccine safety, communicating about vaccines, and using social media to understand health issues.

We use advanced data visualisation plus statistical and machine learning techniques to understand massive amounts of health-related data in new and improved ways. Consumer insights and engagement are central to how we design and perform our research.

Our HealthYPulse program/approach uses social media to learn about young people’s health concerns. We gather information and data about these concerns and respond on social media platforms like TikTok. Then, we listen to see if these responses helped young people.

This new learning health system approach allows us to continually improve our services to young people.

Our group is also responsible for vaccine safety surveillance in Victoria. We use multiple innovative informatics approaches to ensure Victoria maintains the safest possible immunisation program. We are a proud member of the Global Vaccine Data Network and publish weekly public-facing vaccine safety reports.

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