ADHA, CSIRO to form a centre of excellence in Australian healthcare connectivity

The Australian Digital Health Agency and the Australian e-Health Research Centre under the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation have entered into a new collaboration to deliver a centre of excellence for Australian healthcare connectivity.

Their partnership will create what they say is a “world-leading” terminology service and capability in Australia through the National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS). The NCTS provides terminology services and tools, including an online browser, a mapping and authoring platform, and CSIRO’s national syndication server Ontoserver.

According to a media release, ADHA will remain responsible for the governance and end-to-end management, SNOMED CT licensing and the relationship with SNOMED International while CSIRO will now deliver the services and function required to manage the NCTS, as well as content authoring and tooling.

Over the next five years, they will develop new terminology content and refresh tooling via the NCTS. 


Their collaboration intends to enable connectivity across healthcare settings by driving future discussions around interoperability standards and governance.

“The services that we provide help enable different parts of the system to ‘talk’ to one another, enabling smoother health service delivery, reduced patient burden and fewer costs,” said AEHRC CEO Dr David Hansen.

Dr Hansen also expressed his hope that their partnership will lead to further adoptions of Ontoserver, which can be currently accessed through an NCTS sublicense.


The ADHA has recently partnered with Health Level Seven Australia to promote the consistent adoption of FHIR standards across healthcare settings. It forms part of the agency’s draft National Healthcare Interoperability Plan, which envisions a more connected Australian health system by 2027.

In other news, CSIRO recently recommended the government the development of national pandemic data standards to improve data collection and sharing as part of the country’s future pandemic response. It suggested expanding ADHA’s work on a digital standards catalogue to include data standards to support a pandemic response.

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