New chief for CSIRO e-Health research venture

By April 8th, 2009

Leading healthcare, business and ICT consultant Dr Phil Gurney has been appointed the Australian e-Health Research Centre’s (AEHRC) new CEO.

The former senior executive of a biomedical business took up his post at the national research facility for ICT and healthcare innovations this week.

The AEHRC is a joint venture between CSIRO and the Queensland Government.

Dr Gurney takes over the role at the AEHRC from founding CEO, Gary Morgan, who has been appointed Deputy Director (Operations) for CSIRO’s ICT Centre.

Dr Gurney said the challenge for the AEHRC in the next few years is to extend its engagement with the medical community nationally.

“We want its research outcomes to deliver real world benefits to patients, and ensure they are adopted throughout the Australian and global healthcare system,” Dr Gurney said.

As a consultant, Dr Gurney has advised executive teams at SMEs, not for profit and
government organisations.

This includes consultancy work for the charity, Brotherhood of St Laurence, where he advised on the establishment of the Innovation Hub to support the Brotherhood’s vision for an Australia free of poverty.

More recently, he was a senior executive at Leica Biosystems in Melbourne, where he was focused on strategic development to build market opportunities in tissue pathology.

Highlights of his tenure include leading the acquisition of a US pathology image-analysis company, and steering the development of technologies for error minimisation in pathology sample handling.

In 1996, Dr Gurney co-founded Virtual Photonics Pty Ltd (now called VPIsystems Inc), a network planning software company. He held the position of Managing Director of the Asia-Pacific region, and was a board member of the Australian and US companies.

In just five years staff numbers grew from two to 250.

Recent achievements of the AEHRC include the development of a new tool for rapidly classifying medical records, which is known as Snorocket™.

The technology is being incorporated in the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) workbench and will underscore the development of electronic health records worldwide.

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