Australia allots $7M for projects rolling out wearables, POC testing in rural areas

The Australian government has set aside A$10 million (over $7 million) for research projects testing and implementing new applications of existing wearable electronic devices and examining ways to deliver point-of-care testing in rural and remote areas.

The Primary Health Care Research Initiative grant under the government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) supports projects using the latest digital and mobile technology to enhance the delivery of primary healthcare. It is funded for over two years from 2021 to 2023.

WHY IT MATTERS

Incorporating wearable technologies as part of an individual’s coordinated care with their doctors would enable them to manage their own health, thus requiring lesser GP visits, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a media release.

While most Australian patients can access pathology testing services, he said that POC testing can greatly enhance access to diagnostic products and clinical management models, including patient engagement, compliance, safety, and satisfaction.

THE LARGER TREND

In June, the federal government awarded a combined investment of AU$12.9 million (around $10 million) to seven research projects that leverage data to enhance the primary care system in the country. It was granted through the MRFF Primary Healthcare Research Data Infrastructure grant. 

ON THE RECORD

“Research is the key to better health care and treatments – and the Australian government is investing record amounts in Australian health and medical research. Our government is committed to using digital information, as well as new health technologies and tools, to remotely deliver quality, convenient health care to Australians, regardless of location,” Minister Hunt said.

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