The Swinburne University of Technology and Epworth Healthcare announced a partnership aimed at better leveraging digital technologies to address critical health issues and benefit patients.

Particular attention will focus on how unplanned hospital readmissions can be reduced and effectively managed through the use of analytics and artificial intelligence AI.

As part of the three-year agreement, which will also emphasize the development of health informatics management and digital health research, data will be analysed and provided to researchers.

Key activities will also include evaluating tech solutions to improve the value of patient-focused healthcare and clinical outcomes.

“This partnership will leverage both organisations’ strengths in health research, technology and teaching,” Professor Gavin Lambert, director of Swinburne’s Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute, said in a statement.

The Iverson Institute pursues real-world health challenges across the human lifespan, creating practical activities to minimise the impact of chronic disease and disability on patients, the health care system and society through community engagement, industry consultation and Swinburne’s research strengths.

For example, the institute’s digital health program draws upon citizen-centred health initiatives and partnerships with government and industry to provide insight into current management techniques for health data.

“This collaboration enables us to move digital health forward so that we can look at research to develop superior patient-centred solutions that support high quality care,” said Swinburne researcher and professor of digital health Nilmini Wickramasinghe, who will serve as the Epworth Chair of Health Informatics Management under the partnership.

The partnership will also focus on evaluating and assessing current health technology systems in place in hospitals and other health contexts, as well as investigating critical aspects of robotic surgery at Epworth, and how these assets can be used in other forms of surgery.

“It is through research and technological innovation that we will improve the way we can deliver modern health care so that we can achieve a more positive, meaningful and sustainable impact on the health and wellbeing of our community,” Epworth Eastern executive director Louise O’Connor said in a statement.

She called the agreement a “wonderful example” of Epworth’s commitment to developing partnerships that can improve the quality of care provided to our patients.

Earlier this week the university announced Dr. Elaine Saunders will head the charge for digital health and innovation at Swinburne, where she will be helping with the strategy of the Innovation Precinct.

Saunders previously co-found Blamey Saunders Hears, an organization dedicated to overcoming the barriers preventing millions of Australians from finding a hearing solution, which include things like cost and lack of access to audiology services.

 

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