Grants to catalyse a better health system

Two University of Adelaide projects aiming to better utilise artificial intelligence in healthcare and improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing outcomes have been awarded funding.

Students at the University of Adelaide's North Terrace campus

The Hospital Research Foundation Group (HRFG) awarded the funding as part of its Catalyst Grant Scheme, which targets projects aimed at addressing an unmet need in South Australia’s healthcare services.

Catalyst grants are also intended to provide a springboard for projects that have high potential for winning a future MRFF (Medical Research Future Fund) grant.

A project led by Associate Professor Johan Verjans, who is from the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning, will examine ways AI can be utilised to accurately convert conversations during consultations into clinical notes.

This project, which was awarded $55,778, will make the critical but time-consuming task of clinical documentation less burdensome.

Associate Professor Verjans’ project will also involve the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, Calvary-Medibank Joint Venture, and Flinders University.

Another project, led by Dr Tina Brodie, who is a Research Fellow in Wardliparingga Aboriginal Health Equity at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the University of Adelaide, alongside the University of Adelaide’s Associate Professor Odette Pearson, will develop a roadmap to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The project, which was awarded $59,978, will bring together key partners and the community to support better responses to mental health and wellbeing.

In addition to the University of Adelaide and SAHMRI, Dr Brodie’s project will also involve SA Health and the Aboriginal Health Council of SA.

Both projects were awarded funding for a term of 12 months.

There are four HRFG Catalyst Grants awardees, with the other two projects, led by researchers from UniSA and Flinders University, focusing on improving quality of care for older people and using AI to improve the mental health referral system in rural areas.

For more information on the Catalyst Grants, see here.

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