Professor Anthony Smith

Professor

Centre for Health Services Research
Faculty of Medicine
a.smith8@uq.edu.au
+61 7 3176 1685

Overview

Professor Anthony Smith is the Director of The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health (COH), and Adjunct Professor at the Hans Christian Anderson Children's Hospital and University of Southern Denmark, in Odense, Denmark.

Professor Smith is also the Editor in Chief for the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare (Sage Publishers, London; Impact Factor 6.344).

Professor Smith has more than 20 years of research experience involving the planning, implementation and evaluation of telemedicine applications for the benefit of clinicians and patients in regional and remote areas of Australia. 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. 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; and a community-based telemedicine health screening programme for Indigenous children in 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.

Professor Smith chairs the annual International Conference on Successes and Failures in Telehealth conference. He was the former President of the Australasian Telehealth Society (ATHS) [2013-2015]; and remains an active ATHS committee member [2008-Present]. In the field of telehealth and virtual care, Prof Smith has over 220 publications, including 200 peer-reviewed journal papers, three edited books and 13 book chapters on related topics. Whilst the field remains highly specialised in comparison to other disciplines, his work is cited over 2000 times each year.

Professor Smith also provides an extensive range of consultancy services for government agencies and corporate industry partners in the field of telehealth, digital health and virtual healthcare.

Recent Awards:

1. Top Researcher in the field of "Medical Informatics"- for work involving telehealth, digital health and virtual care. The Australian Research Awards, 2023

2. Excellence in Indigenous Engagement Award - for "enhancing access to specialist health services through the use of telehealth for First Nations people. Engagement Australia Excellence Awards, 2021

3. Spirit of Reconciliation Award - for building research and community partnerships in Queensland. UQ Faculty of Medicine Excellence Awards, 2021

Research Interests

  • Telehealth, Digital Health and Virtual Healthcare
    My focus is on the creation of new models of care which deliver high quality, affordable and accessible health care to people of all ages, in different settings, and for a broad range of health conditions. Successful service models should align with clinical requirements and consumer preferences, and be supported by evidence to demonstrate positive clinical outcomes, user experience and sustainability.
  • Supporting our health workforce with clinical telehealth training
    The safe delivery and adoption of telehealth in our health system depends on key requirements, including developing a skilled health workforce. My focus is on the implementation of telehealth and virtual health care training in undergraduate programs (multidisciplinary); as well as developing training programs which can support clinicians within our health workforce.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
    Engaging with First Nations health services, and planning new models of care which enable health services to become more easily accessible in community settings. Exploring the role of telehealth in these settings; and working in close partnership with community stakeholders to ensure services are designed according to needs and preferences.

Research Impacts

Telehealth services for Indigenous Communities: For nearly two decades, Professor Anthony Smith has been working in partnership with the Cherbourg community, to establish a telemedicine service for the routine screening of Indigenous children at high risk of chronic health conditions. With a high prevalence of ear disease and inconsistent screening procedures, his idea was to convert a vehicle into a mobile health clinic with all the necessary equipment on board for collecting and transmitting clinical assessments. Clinical information is collected by Aboriginal health workers, then uploaded to an online database, which is accessible to the specialists in Brisbane who routinely review cases and provide advice regarding clinical management. His program has resulted in a routine screening program - a tangible community benefit—which now serves thousands of children within schools in the South Burnett region of Queensland. Since the commencement of the health screening telemedicine program in 2009, routine assessments of approx. 1250 children have been carried out in 35 schools annually. The proportion of children being screened for chronic ear conditions has increased from around 38% to over 85% of all eligible cases in the community; while the mean waiting time from referral to actual specialist appointment has been reduced from 73 days in 2009 to 29 days in 2011. The mobile telemedicine ear-screening service delivers an appropriate model of care that reinforces the partnership between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community health services and specialist health services in a tertiary facility and demonstrates a range of benefits associated with the generation of a strong community led health-screening program, supported by specialists at a distance.

Post-acute burns care and telemedicine: Professor Anthony Smith had a key role in creating the telepaediatric service at the Royal Children’s Hospital has resulted in significant changes in the way outpatient services are delivered for certain groups of patients. Having had a clinical role in the paediatric burns unit in Brisbane, he was very familiar with patients and families who returned to the department on a regular basis for outpatient care. The time, cost and inconvenience of time away from home was something he was extremely conscious of. After extensive engagement with the multi-disciplinary burns team, Dr Smith introduced telehealth consultations for the post-acute care of children with burn injuries. This required a new model of care, where regional occupational therapists and nurses were trained to deliver outpatient care, with the support of specialists (by videoconference). Instead of traveling back to Brisbane, families were able to attend an outpatient appointment at their nearest hospital, by videoconference. His work resulted in more than 3500 telehealth burns consultations in the first ten years; overall, telehealth appointments accounted for around 14% of all outpatient appointments in the burns unit. This represented a completely new direction in the way outpatient services are delivered in Queensland. Since those early days, this model has continued to be used, and has now been reproduced in other states including NSW, Western Australia and Victoria.

Medicare funding for specialist video-consultations: In 2010, Professor Anthony Smith was the lead investigator (CIA) of a tender to deliver a national report on telehealth implementation and technical requirements. This report guided the strategic decisions related to funding videoconferencing consultations through the Medical Benefits Schedule and informed the resultant legislation that was implemented by the Federal Government on 1 July, 2011. This work has been cited by cited by leading agencies including the: RACP, RACGP, ACRRM, RCNA and NEHTA.

Qualifications

  • PhD, The University of Queensland
  • BNurse, Queensland University of Technology
  • MEd, Queensland University of Technology

Publications

View all Publications

Publications

Book

  • Anthony C. Smith, Armfield, Nigel R. and Robert H. Eikelboom eds. (2012). Global Telehealth 2012: delivering quality healthcare anywhere through telehealth. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press.

  • H. Peter Soyer, Michael Binder, Anthony C. Smith and Elisabeth M.T. Wurm eds. (2012). Telemedicine in dermatology. Berlin, Germany: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-20801-0

  • Gray, Len C., Smith, Anthony C., Armfield, Nigel R., Travers, Catherine, Croll, Peter and Caffery, Liam J. (2011). Telehealth assessment: Final report. Uniquest Project No: 16807 St.Lucia, QLD, Australia: UniQuest.

  • Anthony C. Smith and Anthony J. Maeder eds. (2010). Global Telehealth. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, Amsterdam, Netherlands: IOS Press.

Book Chapter

  • Fatehi, Farhad, Taylor, Monica, Caffery, Liam J. and Smith, Anthony C. (2019). Telemedicine for Clinical Management of Adults in Remote and Rural Areas. Revolutionizing Tropical Medicine. (pp. 439-461) Hoboken, NJ United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781119282686.ch26

  • Smith, Anthony C., Taylor, Monica, Fatehi, Farhad and Caffery, Liam J. (2019). Telemedicine for the Delivery of Specialist Pediatric Services. Revolutionizing Tropical Medicine: Point‐of‐Care Tests, New Imaging Technologies and Digital Health. (pp. 462-487) Hoboken, NJ United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781119282686.ch27

  • Edirippulige, Sisira, Smith, Anthony C., Bensink, Mark, Armfield, Nigel R. and Wootton, Richard (2018). Nurses and telehealth: current practice and future trends. Health information systems: concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. (pp. 323-338) Hershey, PA, United States: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-60566-988-5.ch022

  • Edirippulige, Sisira, Armfield, Nigel R., Caffery, Liam and Smith, Anthony C. (2016). Education and training for supporting general practitioners in the use of clinical telehealth: A needs analysis. Telehealth and Mobile Health. (pp. 319-328) edited by Halit Eren and John G. Webster. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press.

  • Edirippulige, Sisira, Armfield, Nigel R., Caffery, Liam and Smith, Anthony C. (2016). Education and training for supporting practitioners in the use of clinical telehealth: a needs analysis. Telehealth and mobile health. (pp. 319-328) edited by Halit Eren and John G. Webster. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b19147-19

  • Bensink, Mark E., Scuffham, Paul A. and Smith, Anthony C. (2012). Health economics. Telemedicine in dermatology. (pp. 167-185) edited by Hans Peter Soyer, Michael Binder, Anthony C. Smith and Elisabeth M. T. Wurm. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-20801-0_19

  • Wurm, Elisabeth M. T., Soyer, H. Peter and Smith, Anthony C. (2012). Introduction to teledermatology. Telemedicine in dermatology. (pp. 1-6) edited by Hans Peter Soyer, Michael Binder, Anthony C. Smith and Elisabeth M. T. Wurm. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-20801-0_1

  • Jakowenko, Janelle, Smith, Matthew J. and Smith, Anthony C. (2012). Photographic imaging essentials. Telemedicine in dermatology. (pp. 143-156) edited by Hans Peter Soyer, Michael Binder, Anthony C. Smith and Elisabeth M. T. Wurm. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-20801-0_17

  • Smith, Anthony C. and Edirippulige, Sisira (2010). Extending health services to rural communities: Telepediatrics in Queensland. Healthcare and the effect of technology: Developments, challenges and advancements. (pp. 101-111) edited by Stefane M. Kabene. Hershey, PA, U.S.A.: IGI Global.

  • Edirippulige, Sisira and Smith, Anthony C. (2010). Telepaediatrics in Queensland: Evidence for quality, reliability and sustainability. E-Health Systems Quality and Reliability: Models and Standards. (pp. 253-262) HERSEY: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-61692-843-8.ch019

  • Edirippulige, S, Smith, A.C., Bensink, M.E., Armfield, N.R. and Wootton R (2009). Nurses and Telehealth, Current Practice and Future Trends.. Nursing and Clinical Informatics: Socio-Technical Approaches. (pp. 94-109) edited by Bettina Staudinger, Victoria Hob and Herwig Osterman. USA / UK: Information Science Reference, Idea Group Inc (IGI). doi: 10.4018/978-1-60566-234-3.ch007

  • Conrick, M. and Smith, A.C. (2009). Using informatics to expand awareness.. Contexts of Nursing 3e. (pp. 330-350) edited by John Daly, Sandra Speedy and Debra Jackson. Australia: Churchill Livingstone - Elsevier Australia.

  • Batch, J. and Smith, A. C. (2005). Diabetes and telemedicine. Telepediatrics: Telemedicine and Child Health. (pp. 89-104) edited by R. Wootton and J. Batch. London, U.K.: Royal Society of Medicine Press.

  • Kimble, R. M. and Smith, A. C. (2005). Post-acute burns care for children. Telepediatrics: Telemedicine and Child Health. (pp. 111-118) edited by R. Wootton and J. Batch. London, U.K.: Royal Society of Medicine Press.

  • Smith, A. C. and Pelekanos, J. T. (2005). Telemedicine in Paediatric Neurology. Teleneurology. (pp. 117-135) edited by R. Wootton and V. Patterson. London, United Kingdom: Royal Society of Medicine Press.

  • Smith, A. C. (2005). Telepaediatrics in Queensland. Telepediatrics: Telemedicine and Child Health. (pp. 25-39) edited by R. Wootton and J. Batch. London, U.K.: Royal Society of Medicine Press.

  • Smith, A. and Wootton, R. (2004). Telemedicine in surgery. Textbook of tropical surgery. (pp. 149-153) edited by R. Kamel and J. Lumley. London, U. K.: Westminster Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision