Government grants awarded to AI Healthcare research

Future-forward plans to transform healthcare

5 min | Trends

The Healthcare industry is set to get a boost from the Australian Government, with almost $30m being allocated for research into the use of AI technology in the healthcare sector, as part of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) ‘Critical Research Infrastructure Initiative.’

Ten grants have been awarded across Australia’s leading universities to fund the trials. Plans have already been made for research into better care for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), expanding access to skin cancer assessments, and better prevention of cardiac health symptoms. 

The University of Queensland has received nearly three million dollars, as part of this scheme, to support their trial of 3D total skin imaging for early detection of melanoma and to offer support to clinicians. 

UQ’s aim is to utilise AI clinical support to develop the world’s largest skin imaging database that will enable regional clinicians to make an informed diagnosis and reduce time to treatment. This initiative will allow patients in rural and regional Australia to access skin checks, without having to travel to their nearest GP, which can be upwards of 30km away.

In a press release, Mark Butler, Minister for Health and Aged Care said, “Artificial intelligence holds the potential to revolutionise many different fields, provided it can be used safely. Good research is the first step.”

More pathways have been laid out for several AI-based healthcare programs. The University of Melbourne has also received a three million dollar grant to begin developing infrastructure to treat youth mental health conditions. The project will use AI services, software, data linkages, web applications, education, and safety monitoring to establish a platform for personalised diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues.

“These important research projects will help build the infrastructure that will underpin our use of AI in the healthcare system, improving the lives of Australians everywhere.” Minister Butler stated in a press release.

For more information on the Nation Critical Research Infrastructure Initiative, visit their website here.

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