Welcome to our April Newsletter. I hope the Easter break provided some welcome time to spend with family and friends after a busy start to the year…

We are delighted to report that the DHCRC had one of its most successful quarters to start the year. We finalised over $5 million in funding to research projects, including the next stage of the Aged Care Data Compare Project, you’ll read more about this project below.

Other projects signed to start the year include: an evaluation of a digital health initiative with Alfred Health and Monash University (see more on this in the project update in the newsletter); The design, development and implementation of a mental health navigation platform – the Local Mental Health Care Operational Navigation Chart (MChart) – involving the University of Canberra, Swinburne University , Capital Health Network, ACT Health and the Bupa Foundation; and an Australian-first research initiative into the emergence and prevalence of Long COVID in primary care with Outcome Health, Macquarie University and four PHNs.

These initiatives are significant as they involve bringing together multiple parties across industry, academia, government and the health sector to work collaboratively. The CRC concept is founded on this basis of working in partnership to unlock the value of research and support the growth of Australia’s digital health technology sector Together, with our Participants, the DHCRC is laying the foundations to show how this can be done in practice to deliver better health outcomes for all Australians. It is challenging and takes time and perseverance but is the way forward to support more rapid research translation and implementation.

Canberra was the location for us to host a two-day workshop with DHCRC Participants from Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria on the increasingly important subject of Synthetic Data. These Participants are each working on a range of synthetic data research projects. Our goal is to build a Community of Practice and program of work to share learnings, and test different approaches to creating and using synthetic data to overcome the challenges of using complete clinical data sets. Because the DHCRC is a national initiative, and we have most of the State and Territory Health Departments as participants we have an important convening role.

A highlight in March was our participation in Science Meets Parliament also in Canberra. It is an important event that brings deep engagement between hundreds of, scientists, researchers and technologists to engage with policy decision makers. We were pleased to support five of our emerging leaders from our Education and Capacity Building Program to attend the event and have the opportunity to meet with a politician one-on-one. You can read more about their experience below.

And finally, it was pleasing to see legislation pass Parliament to establish the new $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. We have long been supportive of thus Fund as an opportunity to leverage our world leading health and medical research to become a global exporter of digital health technology. We will continue to work closely with Research Australia to advocate for support from this Fund to be directed to the health sector.

This newsletter is also showcasing one of our SME partners SiSU Health. SiSU Health itself is a prime example of the value of having research, development and manufacturing onshore in Australia. We also share the latest updates from our education team, including our newly launched Talent Hub, and profile a number of recent research project announcements.

Warm regards,

Annette Schmiede
CEO, Digital Health CRC


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