Health minister Greg Hunt has announced the federal government will invest $100 million in the development of new technologies to improve diagnosis and treatment of stroke, epilepsy and lung disease, including COVID-19.
Minister Hunt said the funding will be split across three projects led by senior researchers at the University of Melbourne, the Australian Lung Health Initiative and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.
The five-year funding is being provided under Stage Two of the Frontier Health and Medical Research Initiative. This program allows researcher collaborations to explore ideas that could have a dramatic, global impact on health care.
The successful projects were chosen from ten applicants, which each received up to $1.5 million in funding to develop ground-breaking ideas into research plans. The research plans were then assessed by an independent committee of Australian and international experts.
The selected projects are:
- Stroke Golden Hour project to develop lightweight brain scanners that can be carried in ambulances;
- Australian Epilepsy Project that is providing a platform of artificial intelligence based expertise and clinical decision support; and,
- 4D Functional Diagnosis, a new frontier in lung health for children that will deliver revolutionary lung scanners that are safe, rapid, and easy to use. These projects have the potential to transform outcomes for people living with these diseases, generate massive economic benefits and create thousands of jobs.
"All projects that have so far received funding through Frontiers have remarkable promise. Our Government is extremely impressed by the calibre of all the projects and their potential to assist people with many serious health issues, while also growing our innovation economy," said Minister Hunt.