5 minutes with Dr Shisir Manandhar, ACS Professional Partner member 

18 November 2021
  • Dr Shisir Manandhar talked about his work in the innovatuon space, including robotics and AI, in the healthcare.
  • Plans for work in the innovation space and current projects in Education Technology - Healthovation and Edusystems.

Q: Describe what Health Careers does.

Health Careers International (HCI) is a group of companies that specialises in education and systems to develop the careers of healthcare professionals around the world. The Group embraces the latest technologies and collaborative tools in designing and delivering healthcare education and training programs. This approach allows HCI to create new opportunities for students around the world, to develop and enhance their skills and for Governments and healthcare organisations to more effectively develop the future health workforce.

Our vision is to become a global provider of healthcare education and research. We will achieve this by working closely with industry and offering curriculum and education programs that are delivered to suit the needs of students and, by recognising that work, learning and life should be able to coexist together.

Our focus is on online and flexible learning supported by simulation training in a laboratory and professional work placements at healthcare facilities. This allows our students to balance their study and work commitments.

Our approach is encapsulated in our core values of Innovation, Caring and Excellence (ICE), which we apply to every aspect from course development to student support. We are excited by this vision as we strive to deliver the highest quality education for the healthcare sector.

Q: Tell us a bit about your recent work in the innovation space with robotics and aged care.

By collaborating with CSIRO, we are conducting a research study on using high-end technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence in residential care settings. With more than 10% of our GDP spent on healthcare, digital innovation has increasingly crucial to both reduce costs and improve outcomes. Robotics is one area of digital innovation that can have this impact. AI and robotics are getting increasingly sophisticated at doing what humans do, but more effectively - more efficiently and at a lower cost. The potential of autonomous and semiautonomous robots in aged and residential care is vast. Robots can provide physical support, information, entertainment and interactional skills. They can assist with daily activities, reminders and navigation, helping people to remain independent for longer, reducing the need for hospitalisation and care homes, with benefits to both patients and healthcare workers.

Horizon Scanning

A literature review will identify available and emerging robot technologies in residential care. The focus will be on the attitude changes and opportunities since the beginning of COVID-19.


Through up to 25 semi-structured interviews with key individuals across the aged care sector, this stage will assess the current standing and expectations of robotic in the Australian residential care sector as well as the gaps and opportunities where robots could be incorporated. Priority areas for introducing robots in residential care will be identified in this stage together with the potential of introducing the robots from Invento robotics into residential care. All ethics approvals will be obtained from the CSIRO ethics committee.

Individuals considered for interview include:

•     Management (CEO, CTO, health informatics, etc.)

•     Clinical staff (nurses, physiotherapists, dietitians, psychologists, geriatricians, etc.)

•     Residential care service providers (cleaning, laundry, etc.)

•     Robotics experts

•     Elderly people living in residential care

Q: What are your growth plans for your work in the innovation space?

Healthovation is a derivative of HCI's vision to establish its own research and innovation division to further facilitate education and research activities globally, primarily in the health sector. Some of our current projects include Robotics in Residential Care: RobSim- Self-guided robotic simulation for clinical nursing practice, and Robotics in Customer Service Excellence (RiCSE).

Edusystems Australia is another subsidiary of HCI purely focusing on innovative projects in Education Technology. Some of the recent developments include software such as Clinsoft-one-stop solution for facilitating clinical placement for healthcare students, E-Testamur-simplified platform for customised generation of e-certificates etc. We are working on developing the next iteration of our Enterprise solution software called Knowledge Hub with advanced capabilities.

Through its subsidiaries, HCI plans to extend its reach in the next-generation technology by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capability.

Q: Why did you become an ACS member?

We are both vocational education & training (VET) provider as well as higher education provider. In addition, as mentioned earlier, we have our own software division and a research and innovation wing. We are very much into the technology domain, ICT in particular. In addition, we would like to be an education provider of ICT courses in future. This is the very reason of our joining ACS.

One of the essential objectives of Healthovation is to convert itself over the next few years into a technology-driven research organisation with an international reputation in health and medicine. Because of our engagement with ACS, we can be more efficient and up to date since our information technology team will be more informed and engaged through networking and collaboration.