The Australian government has awarded grants to research projects working on wearable technology to improve health monitoring for Australians.
A project at Curtin University, which has been provided with A$1.5 million ($950,000) funding, will develop and test wearable sensors to monitor the movement of children with cerebral palsy who are unable to walk.
Another project at the University of New South Wales (A$1.9 million or $1.2 million) will try out a cuffless blood pressure device in adults with hypertension.
A Bond University project (A$1.09 million or $700,000) will combine data from wearable devices and patients’ medical records to help people with Type 2 diabetes set goals and monitor their progress on physical activity, blood sugar, and BP control.
These projects are expected to be completed within five years, according to a media release.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Last year, the Australian government set aside A$10 million ($7 million) for the Primary Health Care Research Initiative grant under the Medical Research Future Fund. The grant is supporting research projects that are testing and implementing new applications of existing wearable electronic devices and examining ways to deliver point-of-care testing in rural and remote areas.
In other news, East Metropolitan Health in Western Australia is currently deploying wearable devices across emergency departments as part of its Health in a Virtual Environment service.
ON THE RECORD
“New health technologies and tools such as wearable health technologies and point-of-care testing have the potential to transform primary health care. By putting existing new technologies to the test, these research projects could lead to rapid improvements in health outcomes for people with chronic conditions and for First Australians and others living in remote areas,” Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health, commented.