Diabetic Retinopathy and Health Informatics Collaboratory

Research Overview


The Diabetic Retinopathy and Health Informatics Collaboratory is a group of academic, clinical and technical staff brought together to address the multidisciplinary challenges associated with chronic disease diagnosis and management. The group comprises medical and information scientists from the fields of endocrinology, epidemiology, eye care, nutrition, data modelling and software development with research nodes at The University of Melbourne, University of Sydney and La Trobe University.


There is growing evidence of multiple associations between chronic diseases and behavioural, biomedical and dietary risk factors across academic disciplines.

Increased quantities and granularity of data and improved communication technologies represent a paradigm shift in patient information management and knowledge sharing. As holistic approaches and technology become more integral to health service delivery, it is critical that we apply the same rigour and evidence-based assessment to these new interventions that we do to traditional practices.


We conduct clinician-initiated research to produce evidence-based research development, implementation processes and tools to assist the health sector in the areas of:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy Assessment\
  • eHealth Interoperability
  • Nutritional Epidemiology (inc. dietary interventions)
  • Health literacy, education & lifestyle assessment

With a focus on regional/remote communities and Indigenous Health.

The Diabetic Retinopathy & Health Informatics Collaboratory is the Health Informatics Core of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence in Diabetic Retinopathy administered by the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney.


  • Dr Laima Brazionis, Group Leader, Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital
  • Chris Ryan, Telehealth Program Manager, NH&MRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney
  • Sharon Atkinson-Briggs, PhD Student, Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital
  • Stormie de Groot, Medical Student, University of New England


  • Prof Alicia Jenkins & Prof Anthony Keech, The University of Sydney, NH&MRC Clinical Trials Centre.
  • Dr Tim Henderson, Flinders University, Department of Ophthalmology.
  • Prof Sven-Erik Bursell, University of Hawaii.
  • Prof Catherine Itsiopoulos, La Trobe University, Dietetics and human nutrition.
  • Prof Michael Berk & Prof Felice Jacka, Deakin University, Food and Mood Centre.


  • NH&MRC Centre for Research Excellence in Diabetic Retinopathy (2014-2019) – Informatics Core
  • Telehealth Facilitation of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Care in Australia. NHMRC Partnership Grant. 2012-2015
  • Comparison of diagnostic accuracy in the clinical assessment of diabetic retinopathy of two (ultra-portable low-cost) digital non-mydriatic retinal cameras aimed at improving access to eye care for Australians with diabetes. Awarded by the Australian Diabetes Society 2013 – 2014
  • Diet as a therapeutic target in depression: A randomised controlled trial. NHMRC Project 2012 - 2014

Research Outcomes

Research Publications

  • Brazionis L, Jenkins A, Keech A, Ryan C, Bursell SE, TEAMSnet Study Group. An evaluation of the telehealth facilitation of diabetes and cardiovascular care in remote Australian Indigenous communities: - protocol for the telehealth eye and associated medical services network [TEAMSnet] project, a pre-post study design BMC Health Serv Res 2017 17 1 -13.
  • Keel S, Itsiopoulos C, Koklanis C, Vukicevic M, Brazionis L. Retinal Vascular Calibre and Kidney Function in Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes. Ophthalmic Epidemiology 2017 – Accepted for publication: P13729682
  • Brazionis L, Golley R, Mittinty M, Smithers L, Emmett P, Northstone K, Lynch J. Diet spanning infancy and toddlerhood is associated with child blood pressure at age 7.5 years.  AJCN 2013 1375-1386
  • Bursell S, Brazionis L, Jenkins, A. Telemedicine and ocular health in diabetes mellitus. Clinical and Experimental Optometry 2012 95(3) 311-327.

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health, Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Cardiometabolic

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Group Leader Dr Laima Brazionis

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

Unit / Centre

Diabetic Retinopathy and Health Informatics Collaboratory

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