Bupa teams up with University of Sydney on new research project

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Bupa has teamed up with the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre to launch a mental-health focused digital health care trial through the InnoWell platform.

Professor Ian Hickie and the Youth Mental Health and Technology Team at the university will lead a youth-focused technology-driven health services research project - Best Care, First Time.

Launched yesterday at the Brain and Mind Centre, and supported by the Bupa Health Foundation, the project aims to provide better coordination of care and improve the lives of young people.

The study will investigate how technology can support the coordination of highly-personalised care across primary, secondary, and hospital-level clinics as well as between public and private services.

The technology is supported by the federal government and is delivered through InnoWell, a joint venture between the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre and Pricewaterhouse Coopers Australia.

Professor Hickie said that in an area that is historically poorly-funded and under-researched, researchers will use an evidence-based and data-driven approach to provide genuine integration of personal care.

“The project uses new digital technologies combined with a continuous and streamlined circle of care,” said Professor Hickie.

“This program of practical health-services research, at the regional scale, is just what the Australian health system needs.”

Health minister Greg Hunt welcomed the new project. “Mental health is our great national challenge. Despite a significant investment in services, many people find it difficult to access the care they need,” he said.

“Best Care, First Time will investigate how technology can make it easier for young people with emerging mood or psychotic disorders to navigate the mental health system.”

According to associate professor Annette Schmiede, Bupa Health Foundation’s executive leader, “ … investment in research and development at a systems level is needed to ensure best outcomes for patients and the health system are achieved."