Unlocking Power Of AI To Transform Healthcare

Department of Health

The Albanese Government is investing almost $30 million in research into new ways to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve access to health services and ensure our health system remains world class.

Across Australia's leading universities 10 grants have been awarded from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to harness the power of AI in the healthcare system, including better care for Multiple Sclerosis, better prevention of cardiac health problems, and expanding access to skin cancer assessments.

The University of Queensland has been granted nearly $3 million to trial how AI can support clinicians - partnered with 3D total skin imaging - for the early detection of melanoma.

This project will provide researchers with access to the infrastructure needed to establish the world's largest skin imaging database. Information from the database will be used by AI to enable health professionals to make informed diagnoses.

This AI clinical support will allow people in rural and regional Australia to have their skin checked for melanomas, without having to travel to the nearest GP.

The research will be conducted at nine regional hospital and health care centres across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, including a 3D total body imaging trial hub established in partnership with Mildura Base Public Hospital.

Another AI-driven project by the University of Melbourne has been granted nearly $3 million for infrastructure to integrate cutting-edge AI technologies into the treatment of youth mental health conditions.

The 'Youth-AI' project will provide translational infrastructure to establish AI services, software, data linkages, web applications, education, and safety monitoring. This will provide a platform for personalised diagnosis and preventive treatment of youth mental health issues.

The grants have been made under the MRFF's $650 million National Critical Research Infrastructure Initiative.

Full details of the projects funded are available here.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

"Artificial intelligence holds the potential to revolutionise many different fields, provided it can be used safely. Good research is the first step.

"These important research projects will help build the infrastructure that will underpin our use of AI in the healthcare system, improving the lives of Australians everywhere."

Quotes attributable to Minister Husic:

"Patients will be better off if we can use AI to make diagnoses more accurate and treatments more personalised.

"For that to happen, patients need to trust AI is safe to use. The guardrails we're considering around development and use of AI means the community can have confidence these powerful technologies are being used safely and responsibly while delivering those benefits."

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