About eHealth Central

It could be said that I’ve been preparing myself to write about the use of IT in healthcare for a couple of decades. In my computer columns in The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Financial Review, and my regular appearances on ABC Radio 774 in Melbourne, I’ve been inventing and “treating” quasi-medical conditions like “Toad of Toad Hall Syndrome” and “Computer-Induced Unwellness” for years.

It seems only natural that I’d end up writing about the conjunction of technology with real-world health issues.

My name is Charles Wright, and I’ve been a journalist all my working life. In that time I moved from being the youngest editor of a provincial daily newspaper (as a 21-year-old in North Queensland), to holding a number of executive positions on Australia’s most respected publications, including assistant editor of the Financial Review, news editor and chief sub-editor of The Australian, and computer editor of The Age.

I was able to use my columns and my position as president of the world’s largest computer user group, Melb PC, to make cheap dial-up Internet access available to members of the public for the first time, as the age of the Web was just dawning. The editorials and front-page stories I wrote in the Financial Review played a major role in opening the Internet to commercial use in Australia.

I’m equally inspired by the admittedly tentative steps that legislators and dedicated professionals are taking to transform the Australian health industry through the application of information technology and telecommunications.

I hope eHealth Central can help support their work, by informing practitioners and the public and by stimulating free and open debate on issues that I confess, at this point, are often bewilderingly complex.

The other thing that excites me as a journalist watching the decline of traditional media is that sites like this can support the ethics and discipline of journalistic practice in a new medium. Although this site does accept sponsorship and advertising from select bodies, it does so on the strict understanding that those contributions in no way influence the reporting of issues or editorial opinion.

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