Australian government fronts up $19 million for digital health tech development

Elsewhere, RMIT Online and the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre have announced a suite of digital health short courses.

Australian government fronts up $19 million for digital health tech development

The federal government has announced it will be handing over a total of AU$18.8 million to fund the development of 21 new biomedical and medical technology projects.

The funding is part of round three of the government's AU$45 million BioMedTech Horizons program, an initiative designed to support the development of health technologies.

"Successful applicants will use the funding to develop medical devices -- including wearable devices -- telehealth and telemedicine, and digitally-enabled personalised medicine," Minister for Health Greg Hunt said.

"Our government is supporting Australia's world-class biomedical and medical technology sector for the benefit of all Australians, while creating new jobs, growing expertise and building sustainable export markets."

Projects that will receive the funding include Victoria-based Seer to develop a personalised epilepsy mobile and wearable monitoring device, New South Wales-based Inventia Life Science, which is developing a 3D bioprinting system for skin regeneration, and South Australia's Miniprobes for developing a smart biopsy needle for faster, safer neurosurgery. Each of these projects will receive AU$1 million from the handout.

Other technology projects are focused on treatments for cancer, stroke, paralysis, irritable bowel syndrome, brain injuries, back pain, and chronic middle ear disease.  

See also: AI is helping get medical research into the hands of doctors and patients (TechRepublic)  

Elsewhere, RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) Online and the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) have announced three new digital health micro-credentials designed to help upskill current healthcare workers.

The courses include the Technology Enabled Care course designed to help clinicians understand, assess, and integrate new technologies into their practice; Healthcare Design course to teach those in healthcare and social services to "reimagine and design prototypes" of digital healthcare services; and the Digital Health Strategy and Change course that will help clinicians "prepare to innovatively and digitally enable transformations within their organisation".

Each of the six-week online courses will involve a blend of learning and coaching by industry mentors.

"The pace of technological change is unrelenting, which means we need learning formats that enable healthcare professionals to adopt and adapt quickly," Digital Health CRC education manager Melanie Haines said.

"Micro-credentials are the perfect answer and we are pleased to not only be partnering with RMIT Online in the delivery of these courses, but to be sponsoring 70 places. 

"These courses will equip Australia's healthcare professionals and organisations with the capability to integrate technologies such as apps, wearables, internet-enabled devices, virtual/augmented reality, AI, and data analytics to improve delivery of patient care."

The courses have been jointly developed by RMIT Online, Digital Health CRC, Queensland Health, Telstra Health, Canteen, and RMIT's Health Transformation Lab.     

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