Research Fellow - CCmHI
About The George Institute
The George Institute for Global Health is an international not-for-profit health research organization devoted to finding solutions for the major health challenges facing populations worldwide and especially disadvantage populations in both higher and lower income countries. The George Institute was established 15 years ago and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. It has annual revenues of about $50 million and employs more than 400 individuals across its facilities in the Australia, China, India and the UK. In each of these countries the Institute has a primary academic partner; in Australia it is the University of Sydney; in China it is the Peking University Health Science; in India it is the University of Hyderabad and in the UK it is the University of Oxford. All these academic partners are world-class research-based universities. The George Institute’s global research and development program is focused around four main themes: Chronic and Critical Conditions; Injury Frailty and Disability; Healthcare Innovation; and Health of Disadvantaged Populations. For the past three years, the Institute has been independently ranked as one of the top ten research organizations in the world, in terms of the impact of its research.
The George Institute for Global Health at Peking University Health Science Center, China
The George Institute for Global Health has been conducting research and related activities in China since 2002. The George Institute was established as a separate wholly owned legal entity in China in 2007. The George Institute’s mission in China mirrors that of the global organization, namely the discovery and implementation of solutions to chronic and disabling health problems through research, policy development and capacity building. The George Institute in China has an institutional affiliation with Peking University Health Science Center. The George Institute in China, located in Beijing, comprises two main operating groups: Research and Development and Infrastructure and Resources. In addition, a social enterprise of the George Institute for Global Health - George Clinical – is co-located with The George Institute China. George Clinical is focused on the delivery of clinical trial programmes for both the Institute and for commercial sponsors and reports to an executive team in Sydney. Together, these groups oversee the conduct of a number of large-scale projects in China, funded by a diverse group of sponsors, both public and private. Currently there are about 70 employees working for both organizations, with additional staff contracted on individual projects.
China Center for mHealth Innovation
The China Center for mHealth Innovation (CCmHI) is a new initiative developed by The George Institute in partnership with Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Wireless Reach™ initiative (the Founding Partners). The initiative draws on the Institute’s global experience in the development and evaluation of innovative digital tools to support healthcare providers and consumers in emerging economies, including China. It also draws on Qualcomm Wireless Reach’s broad experience in the design, development and financing of digital healthcare solutions in the US and other established markets (TBC). The CCmHI would be affiliated with Peking University, through The George Institute China, which is a formal affiliate with of the Peking University Health Science Center.
The principal purpose of the CCmHI is to develop, evaluate and implement innovative digital tools to improve the quality of healthcare in China. Such tools provide a particularly powerful means to improve community healthcare, which remains underdeveloped and of highly variable quality. With the rapid expansion of mobile internet connectivity across China, the potential exists for sophisticated clinical decision support systems to provide healthcare workers with evidence-based, personalized guidance about the care of individual patients attending community medical facilities. Such systems can be linked to a range of electronic health records, as well as a range of point-of-care diagnostics. Consumer applications providing tools for self-care can also be provided. Importantly, secure data transfer to a central server enables the quality and outcomes of care to be continuously monitored and managed by regional health authorities. This development would be directly relevant to the Chinese Government’s healthcare reform program, as outlined in China’s 12th Five Year Plan.
The CCmHI has three main initial priorities:
1. To build and evaluate a bespoke digital healthcare platform for use in Chinese primary healthcare settings. In the first instance, the platform would target the management of 10 leading causes of premature death and disability. The initial focus could include urban centers (particularly Beijing), as well as rural areas in which The George has existing operations. The platform would include provider components, consumer support tools, as well others (such as quality control) designed for health care authorities. A landscape analysis of digital health policies, laws, standards, programs and research activities in China will be done to inform the platform development based on The George’s SMART Health platform with appropriate modifications for use in China.
2. To build Chinese capacity in digital healthcare development and evaluation. This would include opportunities for student internships and fellowships. It could also include the eventual development of a Peking University-based Master program and/or executive education program in digital healthcare. Additionally, possibilities exist for the enrolment of exceptional graduates in doctoral research programs at Peking University, the University of Sydney or the University of Oxford (three universities with which The George Institute has formal affiliations).
3. To advocate through appropriate channels for the incorporation of mobile health strategies in Chinese national policies and guidelines. In parallel with its research program, the CCmHI will develop a policy and advocacy program aimed at supporting integration and scale-up of effective affordable digital healthcare technologies. This would include social media programs, as well as direct engagement with stakeholders including government, professional societies and the corporate sector. It could also include workshops on recent developments in digital health for Chinese government officials and other key stakeholders. For the past five years, The George Institute China has run workshops for the National Health and Family Planning Commission (previously the Ministry of Health) on a range of key topics relevant to healthcare policy. These workshops could be extended to include officials from other relevant ministries and commissions such as those responsible for technology, communications and the financing of healthcare.
The successful appointee will support the CCmHI director to build and evaluate the digital healthcare platform to deal with the leading 10 health problems in China. Specific responsibilities include literature review, stakeholder communication, platform structure analysis, function module description, drafting algorithm in plain language, accuracy test together with software engineer, pilot test among users, study design and implementation of scaled clinical trials. The appointee will also take part in potential digital healthcare capacity development and advocacy program, and will be expected to contribute to publications, media reports and other outputs related to mHealth in China and internationally.
The appointee would report to the director of CCmHI and would receive academic and technical supervision from relevant George Institute and university faculty.
• Master’s or higher degree in medicine or biomedical engineering.
• Excellent English and Mandarin - both oral and written communication skills.
• Competence with computer programs (especially MS Office; MS Word, MS Excel) and electronic communication (email and internet).
• Great enthusiasm in digital or mobile health
• Excellent communication (written and verbal) and negotiation skills