AusEnHealth Digital Twin
Piloting the Australian Environmental Health (AusEnHealth) Digital Twin: a national digital environmental health decision support platform to access, visualise and analyse environmental health data, reports and models, and provide tools to support adaptation planning, vulnerability assessment and decision making.
Rising temperatures, more extreme weather, and increasing carbon dioxide levels impact on water and food supply, degrade living conditions, increase social inequities, change vector ecology, increase air pollution and allergens, and impact on water quality. These in turn impact on heat-related illness and death, cardiovascular failure, injuries, vector-borne and water-borne diseases, asthma, cardiovascular disease, respiratory allergies, and mental health. The direct damage costs to health is estimated to be between AUD $3-6 billion/year by 2030.
Currently there is no national digital representation of environmental and health indicators at a local level, to enable policy makers, health managers and researchers to identify vulnerable populations, predict future disease burden and plan for a changing climate in a coordinated, timely manner.
Our present system includes a range of research and policy advocates, data infrastructure agencies, and government health and environment agencies. However, data sets are still partial and siloed; analyses and predictions are limited and slow; and the capacity for managers to make timely, informed decisions is compromised.
The collaboration comprises FrontierSI with partners Queensland University of Technology, Qld Department of Natural Resources, Mining and Energy, Curtin University, Geoscience Australia, WA Department of Health, and NGIS, as well as stakeholders Australian University Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), Victorian Environmental Protection Authority and Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network and National Environmental Prediction System (TERN).
Digital twins have the potential to transform the design, management and performance of the built and natural environment. While a variety of digital twins support exploration, visualization and analysis of multi-dimensional data, use cases which demonstrate the analytical power of digital twins and specifically 3D and real-time data streams within an integrated analytical treatment for situational awareness, are still lacking.
FrontierSI is determined to build the spatial capabilities across government, industry and universities to enable the delivery of an ecosystem of integrated digital twins. Purpose built use cases which are developed on common frameworks and are open standards driven will contribute to the wider use of digital twins.
The broad objective is to compile the background intelligence (potential use cases, data sources, digital platform, analytic tools) and build a pilot digital twin to demonstrate proof of concept. This will enable an informed decision to be made about the merit of progressing to a full build of the AusEnHealth Digital Twin.
Specifically, the project aims to:
- Develop key use cases based on user and stakeholder requirements and required national environmental and health indicators.
- Undertake a national data audit to identify relevant environmental and health datasets that can be applied at a spatial area level appropriate for targeted planning and intervention measures.
- Identify potential data linkage, analysis and visualisation tools for pilot digital twin, open principles.
- Build a pilot digital twin and review its applicability.
- Develop the roadmap to an operational implementation.
At this point, there is no national digital representation of environmental and health indicators at a local level to enable policy makers, health managers and researchers to identify vulnerable populations, predict future disease burden, and plan for a changing climate. This project will lay the foundation for an open-access Australian Environmental Health (AusEnHealth) Digital Twin: a national digital environmental health decision support platform to access, visualise and analyse environmental health data, reports and models, and provide tools to support adaptation planning, vulnerability assessment and decision making.