$10m to enhance digital healthcare

The Morrison Government has announced it is investing $10 million in research projects using the latest digital and mobile technology to improve primary healthcare delivery.

Australian researchers can now apply for grants to undertake this critical research through the landmark Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Two areas of primary health care research will be funded – one to test and implement new applications of existing wearable electronic devices, and the other to examine new ways to deliver point-of-care testing, particularly for those in rural and remote areas.

While most Australians may be able to access pathology testing services, point-of-care testing reportedly has the potential to significantly enhance access to diagnostic technologies and clinical management models, including patient engagement, compliance, safety, and satisfaction.

By further understanding wearables, it’s hoped that digital health will allow individuals to better manage their own health and lifestyle as part of a coordinated care with their GP, requiring fewer visits to their GP.

Research is the key to better healthcare and treatments, which is why the Australian Government says it is investing record amounts in Australian health and medical research.

The Government says it is committed to using digital information, as well as new health technologies and tools, to remotely deliver quality, convenient health care to Australians, regardless of location.

It’s said that the grant opportunity will be managed through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It will be funded over two years, from 2021–22 to 2022–23.

Additionally, the grant opportunity is under the MRFF Primary Health Care Research Initiative. This Initiative provides $45 million over nine years to enable or support an increase in Australia’s evidence base in primary healthcare through research to improve service delivery and patient outcomes and translate this knowledge into action.

The Government’s $20 billion MRFF is said to be a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research helping to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the health system.


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