Partnership to improve patient care by harnessing power of data

Photo by Olga Kononenko on Unsplash

Griffith University and Gold Coast technology company Datarwe will securely explore valuable information from Queensland hospitals to help some of the sickest patients, through a new partnership that will establish a key hub for artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

The University will appoint a new Chair in Digital Health and offer five PhD research scholarships to support potentially life-saving research as part of the five-year collaboration, which is supported through a $1.5m Advance Queensland grant to Datarwe, co-located opposite Griffith in the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP).

Research will seek to help patients recover from severe injuries and infectious diseases and better manage treatments such as the use of antibiotics, as well helping hospitals to optimise care through anticipating the right resources at the right time and implementing digital health solutions to personalise patient care.

The collaboration aims to build a world-leading Clinical Data Nexus (CDN), using de-identified patient data from intensive care units (ICU’s), and applying AI and machine learning to help researchers develop critical new predictive and diagnostic tools.

Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor Sciences, Professor Andrew Smith, said it would bring specialist data scientists at the University and Datarwe together with Griffith health researchers and clinicians, to maximise the value of the real-world data.

“This data is a rich resource that we can apply in many beneficial ways,” Professor Smith said.

“This data is a rich resource that we can apply in many beneficial ways”

“Our PhD research projects will be targeted to a range of outcomes; from improving recovery for patients with traumatic brain injuries, to better managing ICU resources in infectious diseases outbreaks, helping to predict risks of bacterial infection, and empowering clinical decision-making using medical data processing.

Professor Andrew Smith

“Our broad research, under the direction of a new Chair in Digital Health, who will be an industry-focused academic and leader in the field, will cover the development of acute, community and population digital health systems that embrace genomics and also aim to personalise care through safe and reliable medical devices and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Important issues of governance, policy, privacy, security and ethics will also be explored.”

Datarwe CEO Steve Woodyatt said the partnership would deliver health and commercial benefits, with the goal of translating research into innovative digital health products that can be deployed in healthcare in Australia and overseas.

“What we have is a wealth of data – millions of data points from intensive monitoring of thousands of patients in acute care which requires expert ‘cleaning’ and ‘enriching’ by our team of data scientists so that it is ready to be used for research and development,” Mr Woodyatt said.

“We are not about replacing clinicians but assisting them to make informed decisions at the patient’s bedside. These data-enabled innovations will build upon the talent and expertise in our hospitals giving patients more personalised medical care.

“Through this partnership, and our close links with the Gold Coast University Hospital and other AI companies also locating into the GHCKP, we are well on our way to becoming a world-class hub for digital health.”

The collaboration cements existing ties between Griffith and Datarwe, with the data lab already employing three PhD graduates, including Partnerships Manager Dr Stephanie Chaousis, who also runs health-focused programs for the Queensland AI Hub, and data scientist Dr Tina Nguyen, who has a PhD in Machine Learning.

“There are many current and increasing job opportunities in Data Science and at the same time there are so many resources out there for us to improve our data science skills,” Dr Nguyen said.

“This is one of the main reasons I chose this career and the incredible path it offers, and I love the Gold Coast and appreciate all the new opportunities that this health and innovation hub brings.”

With Griffith University recently ranked No 17 in the world AI Research Index, the highest ranking for a Queensland university, the new partnership is expected to strengthen the appeal of popular courses in the rapidly-growing field.

Globally, the digital health market is predicted to reach more than $660 billion in 2025.

“We are offering real-world experience to both undergraduate and postgraduate students and ensuring a future workforce pipeline as companies and opportunities expand,” Professor Smith said.

Candidates are now being sought for the position of Chair, Digital Health and five PhD positions, each of which include a top-up scholarship of $10,000 per annum, provided by Datarwe.

More information about the positions will be made available shortly at https://www.griffith.edu.au/jobs

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