Researcher biography

Professor Anthony Smith is the Director of The University of Queensland's Centre for Online Health (COH). He is also an Adjunct Professor of Digital Health and Telehealth at the University of Southern Denmark, in Odense, Denmark.

Professor Smith has more than 20 years research experience mainly focussed on the planning, implementation and evaluation of new telehealth applications for clinicians and patients - in metropolitan, regional and remote areas.

In 2004, Professor Smith completed his PhD in the Faculty of Medicine. His research explored the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of a novel telepaediatric service in Queensland.

Professor Smith has developed and sustained an exemplary international track record in the establishment and evaluation of telehealth, principally in paediatrics and more recently in the adult and aged care disciplines. In collaboration with the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, he was instrumental in establishing and managing the Queensland Telepaediatric Service (QTS) from 2000 to 2015. During this time over 23,000 teleconsultations were provided for children all throughout Queensland – in specialties including burns care, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, neurology, orthopaedics and psychiatry.

Specific research interests include the evaluation of feasibility, cost-effectiveness and diagnostic accuracy of telemedicine applications. Major research achievements have included the evaluation of wireless (robot) videoconference systems in paediatric wards; home telemedicine consultations for children with chronic health conditions; email-based telemedicine support for children with burn injuries; and a community-based telemedicine health screening programme for Indigenous children in the South Burnett region of Queensland. Current projects include the evaluation of telehealth applications in primary care settings and Indigenous communities; the delivery of tele-rehabilitation services into primary schools; online mental health support services in remote locations; and discipline specific clinical telehealth services in Queensland.

Over a ten year period, Professor Smith worked closely with Metro South Health (MSH) to develop and operationalise the telehealth services, including a dedicated Telehealth Centre at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. This work involved planning, service coordination, training and evaluation. MSH has an impressive telehealth service which is now deliverying around 40,000 telehealth consultations every year, across 75 clinical areas.

Professor Smith was a chief investigator for the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Telehealth (2013-2019). He was responsible for two major themes within the CRE which include telemedicine applications in small remote communities and Indigenous Communities.

Professor Smith has over 200 publications, including 190 papers in peer-reviewed journals, three edited books and 15 book chapters on telehealth-related topics. Whilst the field remains highly specialised in comparison to other disciplines, his work is now receiving over 1500 citations per annum. Professor Smith is a regular speaker at national and international conferences, and also responsible for the delivery of expert consultancy services related to telehealth strategy and service development, training and evaluation.

Professor Smith is the scientific committee chair for the International Conference on Successes and Failures in Telehealth; and former President of the Australasian Telehealth Society (ATHS) [2013-2015]. He remains an active committee member for the ATHS and contributes to the planning and delivery of the annual telehealth conference.

Professor Smith is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare (Sage Publishers, London) — one of the leading international journals in the field of telemedicine and telecare. He is also an active peer-reviewer for over 35 other journals; and a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) roster of experts for the digital health advisory panel.