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). He is also an Adjunct Professor of Digital Health and Telehealth at the University of Southern Denmark, in Odense, Denmark.

Professor Smith has around 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.

Professor Smith works in close partnership with Metro South Health (MSH) on activities related to telehealth planning, service coordination, training and evaluation. MSH has an impressive telehealth service which is now deliverying around 9000 consultations every year, across 75 clinical areas. Telehealth services are provided through the PAH Telehealth Service and from every hospital within the MSH service.

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 180 publications, including 165 papers in peer-reviewed journals, three edited books and 13 book chapters on telemedicine-related topics. Whilst the field remains highly specialised in comparison to other disciplines, his work is receiving over 200 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 11 other journals; and a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) roster of experts for the digital health advisory panel.

Research Impacts

Telehealth services for Indigenous Communities: For 12 years, 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

Supervision

View all Supervision

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 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

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision