Aged care and retirement living providers and an industry peak are among 80 members of a new collaboration tasked with growing the digital health industry.
The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre will invest more than $200 million towards developing and testing digital health solutions to assist health and aged care services, hospitals and consumers, it announced on Friday.
The Digital Health CRC, which was one of four new CRCs announced by the Federal Government last week, will have at least $111 million in cash funding, including a $55,000 grant from the Commonwealth, and $118 million in-kind funding over its proposed seven-year lifetime.
The centre will take a collaborative approach to research and development programs involving 40 government and commercial organisations across the health, aged care and disability sectors, 24 established and start-up technology, advisory and investment companies and 16 Australian universities.
Aged care industry partners include sector peak the Aged Care Guild, Sapphire Care, Retire Australia, Bupa, Telstra Health and Mirus Australia.
Digital Health CRC bid manager Elizabeth Foley said research planning was the next step for the initiative.
“The research will be wide ranging from better models of care, to using the Internet of Things to improve services, and to helping find accommodation faster for people in hospital who need to move to respite or residential aged care,” Ms Foley told Australian Ageing Agenda.
Research priorities already confirmed for the CRC include projects to develop technology to tackle adverse drug reactions, mine knowledge about treatments, patients and costs from health data, and empower consumers to manage their health and change behaviour.
The CRC’s founding premise is that digital health solutions have the potential to improve people’s health and wellbeing, reduce waste in the health system and build businesses and jobs in the digital health sector, said chair Professor Christine Bennett.
She said $1.9 trillion will be spent on the health, aged care and disability services sector over the course of the initiative while healthcare’s share of gross domestic product is projected to rise from 10 to over 15 per cent.
“And yet health services and clinicians are often flying blind in terms of understanding the impact and outcomes of their care and consumers have little access to tools to support their health and wellness,” Professor Bennett said.
An estimated $45 billion on health spend is wasted every year due to inappropriate care and system inefficiency, she said.
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