2022 End of Year e-newsletter

Message from the Director

Thank you all for your wonderful support for our Connected Health CRE during 2022. We have had another very successful year. The annual meeting of our Centre which we held in early November was a terrific event and everybody enjoyed meeting in-person again. Our Career Development Program trainees have had many outstanding successes with publications, conference presentations and grants during the last 12 months. We are planning to expand this program in 2023 and to involve many other early- and mid-career researchers who are keen to build their careers in the fields of digital health and technology enabled healthcare delivery. Our monthly webinar program has also continued to expand during the last 12 months, and this will continue to be a highlight activity for our CRE during 2023. Our researchers have also performed very well during the past 12 months and a number of us still have funding applications under review. I wish all of you will have some relaxing and joyous time with your families and friends over the next couple of weeks and we very much look forward to ‘re-connecting’ with all of you again in early 2023.

Brian Oldenburg – Centre Director

The 2022 Annual Meeting of our Connected Health CRE was a grand success

The event was a very exciting event for all our Connected Health CRE “family”. It was the first time that Advisory Board members, Chief Investigators, Affiliates, Research Committee members and Career Development program members have been able to meet in person after almost 2 years. It was especially wonderful that two of our international collaborators, Prof Pilvikki Absetz and Dr Nana Hempler, were able to attend in-person and to contribute enormously throughout. For our Career Development Program members, the Hackathon sessions were extremely valuable for members to be able to have one-one interactions with early career, mid-career and senior members of CRE, including our health service partners from Northern Health and Metro North in Brisbane. The meeting also created terrific opportunities to reflect on the achievements over the last 3 years, as well as to interact and exchange ideas with health service partners from Victoria and Queensland, as well as the Consumers Health Forum of Australia.


Tilman Dingler and team participated in ThinkBig, a pitch competition for research-driven company pitches. Presenting work on their “AI-powered Conversational Agents for Personal Customer Engagement” which focuses on providing solution to reducing the waiting lists that health care partners in Brisbane are facing. Congratulations on grabbing two prizes – Best in Faculty of Engineering and IT and 3rd overall prize.


Shariful Islam and team have been awarded a two-year Vanguard grant by the Heart Foundation. Their work focuses on trailing the use of wearable blood pressure devices incorporated with machine learning algorithms for early diagnosis of people at risk of heart disease.

 https://twitter.com/DeakinIPAN/status /1600251445659729922/photo/1

Marlien Varnfield recently spent almost 6 weeks during November in the US as the conclusion to a CSIRO Award (CSIRO Julius Career Award) and during this time she attended – Harvard Medical School Alumni Workshop and Summit (Boston), MedTech Conference as member of MTPConnect Australian Delegation (Boston) and HLTH Conference as member of AND Health Australian Delegation (Las Vegas). Another achievement by Marlien Varnfield and Kaley Butten designed the MoTHer platform which has now been used with over 5000 women. The platform is currently being used in 4 hospitals in Brisbane with plans to extend to two other states for additional focus on culturally and linguistically diverse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and postpartum populations.

New Positions

Ilona McNeill has accepted an ongoing Lecturer in Psychology position (FTE 0.5) at Swinburne – University of Technology. Brian Oldenburg and our Senior Research Fellow, Dominika Kwasnicka attended a a meeting for a 5-year EU Horizons and NHMRC-funded research program in Athens, Greece at Harokopio University – An intersectoral innovative solution involving DIGItal tools, empowering families and integrating community CARE services for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and hypertension in 4 European countries (https://digicare4you.eu/).

Marlien Varnfield has been promoted to Principal Research Scientist in July 2022 and Group Leader – Digital Therapeutics and Care in Sept 2022, at the Australian eHealth Research Centre.

Career Development Program Members Achievements – Some highlights​


Narayan Subedi participated in the Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association (ACRA) conference in Gold Coast,Queensland (August 2022) and presented a poster on “Participants’ experience on susability, acceptability and satisfaction of a Smartphone Cardiac Rehabilitation, Assisted Self-Management intervention: a qualitative study”, receiving travel support from our Connected Health CRE


Justin Braver, a Connected Health Career Development Program Member, presented his PhD research at the AHA conference in Chicago. Justin’s conference attendance was supported by Travel Scholarship – Connected Health CRE (in addition to a CSANZ Travel Fellowship). At the conference, he presented in the Digital Health to Manage Cardiovascular Disease session. The aim of Justin’s study was to assess the effectiveness of a 6-8 week digitally enabled cardiac rehabilitation program on improving risk factors and health status in patients who were hospitalized for coronary artery disease in Australia.Charlene Wright presented a poster on the 20th October at the “International Congress on Obesity” conference in Melbourne – “Evaluation of a digital health program in bariatric surgery: a pilot study”. Congratulations Charlene on successfully completing “Thesis and candidature review milestone”


Charlene Wright presented a poster on the 20th October at the “International Congress on Obesity” conference in Melbourne “Evaluation of a digital health program in bariatric surgery: a pilot study”. Congratulations Charlene on successfully completing “Thesis and candidature review milestone”

Awards and Achievements

George Siopis

  • Receipt of the International Society of Hypertension New Investigator Award for an oral presentation at the 2022 ISH conference in Kyoto, Japan (October 2022)
  • Invitation to feature as a “spotlight” by International Society of Hypertension (November 2022)
  • Recipient of the Executive Dean Health Research Fellowship by Deakin University (March 2022)
  • Recipient of a grant by the Australian Government Dept of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (November 2022)

Narayan Subedi

  • Received SOLVE/CHD Scholarships to complete the International Council for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (ICCPR) Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Foundations Certification.
  • Grant success as lead country researcher (Nepal) and co-investigator in the project: Development and validation of the Global Adolescent and Child Physical Activity Questionnaire (GAC-PAQ): A multi-country study across six continents (Funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research)

Recent CRE Publication Highlights

  • Perski, O., Keller, J., Kale, D., Asare, B. Y. A., Schneider, V., Powell, D., Naughton, F., ten Hoor, G., Verboon, P., & Kwasnicka, D. (2022). Understanding health behaviours in context: A systematic review and metaanalysis of Ecological Momentary Assessment studies of five key health behaviours. Health Psychology Review, 1-37. DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2022.2112258
  • George Siopis (2022) Obesity: A comorbidity-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (CAIDS), International Reviews of Immunology, DOI: 10.1080/08830185.2 022.2083614
  • Moschonis G, Siopis G, Anastasiou C, Iotova V, Stefanova T, Dimova R, Rurik I,  Radó AS, Cardon G, De Craemer M, Lindström J, Moreno LA, De Miguel-Etayo  P, Makrilakis K, Liatis S, Manios Y, On Behalf Of The Feel Diabetes-Study Group.  Prevalence of Childhood Obesity by Country, Family Socio-Demographics, and  Parental Obesity in Europe: The Feel4Diabetes Study. Nutrients. 2022 Apr 27;14(9):1830. doi: 10.3390/nu14091830.
  • McMorrow, R., Hunter, B., Hendrieck, C., Kwasnicka, D., Speight, J., Cussen, L., Ching Siew Ho, F., Emery, J. & Manski-Nankervis, J. (2022) Effect of routinely assessing and addressing depression and diabetes distress on clinical outcomes among adults with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. BMJ Open. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen2021-054650
  • George Siopis, Judi Porter, Contribution of Biological Age– Predictive Biomarkers to Nutrition Research: A Systematic Review of the Current Evidence and Implications for Future Research and Clinical Practice, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 13, Issue 5, September 2022, Pages 1930– 1946, https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nm

Continue reading

October New Publications
30th CRE Webinar: Developing a digital eHub to improve caregiver access to and use of existing primary health, mental health, and social services
Congratulations to our Career Development Program Members for recent doctoral conferral
Dr Ilona McNeill at the European Health Psychology Society conference
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