Federal funding for research linking AI to health outcomes

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced $19 million from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) for research into how artificial intelligence (AI) can improve health outcomes.

More than $8 million will go to two projects researching the use of AI to improve mental health treatments.

The University of Sydney will receive $3 million to improve youth mental health care through the development of tools to guide clinical decisions about the appropriate interventions and treatments.

This project will use AI to test and quantify the impacts of youth mental health interventions and as a result, support the development of a clinical decision-support tool that identifies how to target assessment and interventions to optimise outcomes for individuals presenting for mental health care.

The University of New South Wales will receive almost $5 million to use AI to understand and optimise the treatments for stress, anxiety and depression.

AI will be used to understand which interventions, or components of therapies provide the vital, active ingredients, and why they are more effective for some patients and not others.

"The aim of this project is to use AI to shorten the trial period where some people are provided with non‑optimal treatments for their conditions and thus improving their health, social and economic wellbeing," said Mr Hunt.

The grants, which will be provided over three years, are from the MRFF's Applied Artificial Intelligence Research in Health program.