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Funding of $100M for medical research technology in Australia

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The Australian Government is investing $100 million in funding into the development of new technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of stroke, epilepsy and lung disease, including COVID-19. 

The Morrison Government is investing $100 million into the development of new technologies to improve diagnosis and treatment of stroke, epilepsy and lung disease, including COVID-19.

This funding from the Medical Research Future Fund’s Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative will support the development of:

  • lightweight brain scanners that can be carried in ambulances to treat stroke victims
  • a platform of artificial intelligence-based expertise and clinical decision support, to provide people with epilepsy with the best-practice care, and
  • safe, rapid and easy to use lung scanners.

The funding will be split across three research projects led by senior researchers at the University of Melbourne, the Australian Lung Health Initiative, and the 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, an unprecedented program that allows researcher collaborations to explore the boldest and exciting ideas that could have a dramatic, global impact on health care.

The successful projects were chosen from 10 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:

  • The Stroke Golden Hour project to develop lightweight brain scanners that can be carried in ambulances. This will allow ambulance officers to provide rapid diagnosis and treatment to stroke victims, saving lives and reducing disability.
  • The Australian Epilepsy Project, which is providing a platform of artificial intelligence-based expertise and clinical decision support. The platform will ensure all epileptics receive best-practice care from their first seizure, and will also develop a database for continuously improving precision medicine.
  • 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. The scanners will allow a functional analysis of lung health and can be immediately applied to managing COVID-19, establishing Australia at the forefront of lung science, and kick-starting a high-value, high-tech industry.

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.

The Government has allocated a total of $570 million to the program, over ten years from 2019-20.