A new $4m project bringing together the aged care industry with top research institutions will place South Australia at the forefront of the health and ageing sector.
The Healthy Ageing project will overhaul the way information is collected and used, to improve health services and reduce hospital admissions for older South Australians.
Funded through the State Government’s Research Consortia Program, the $4 million project will directly result in the creation of 14 new jobs, including three post-doctoral researcher appointments and two PhD positions.
A research consortium, led by the South Australian Academic Health Science and Translation Centre (SA Centre), will develop a registry that will – for the first time – gather data about individuals to allow service providers, industry, researchers and policy makers to improve healthcare systems and programs and find new ways to address the needs and preferences of older people.
The consortium will seek to attract manufacturers, industry and potential investors into South Australia; supporting emerging growth sectors including medical devices, software for health improvement and mobile sensor applications in order to drive greater economic opportunities and job creation for the state.
The SA Centre is one of four Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres that have been recognised by the National Health and Medical Research Council as being amongst the world’s best for using medical research to improve patient care.
Membership of the research consortium includes some of the state’s top research institutions and industry partners, including South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), SA Health, Flinders University, University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide, Silver Chain, Helping Hand, ECH, Council of the Ageing South Australia, Adelaide Primary Health Network, Country SA Primary Health Network and Health Consumers Alliance of SA.
The Research Consortia Program is part of the Premier’s Research and Industry Fund, which provides funding for significant research collaborations between universities, research organisations, government and industry to tackle major challenges in areas of critical need or strategic importance for South Australia and promote innovative and leading-edge research solutions.
Quotes attributable to Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher
The Healthy Ageing project is a perfect example of new ideas we are investing in to develop our research capabilities and enable South Australia to become a global leader in innovation.
This project puts us in a unique position to attract world-leading researchers, industry, manufacturers and start-ups to South Australia, creating new employment opportunities through growing sectors, including medical devices, software and assistive technologies that promote healthy ageing.
Research collaborations and the development of new ideas and innovation will help our state transition from a state reliant on traditional manufacturing to the jobs and industries of tomorrow.
Quotes attributable to the SA Centre Director and SAHMRI Executive Director, Professor Steve Wesselingh
South Australia has highest proportion of older people in Australia, which means there is an increasing need to understand the aged care sector in its totality and develop and deliver services, products and technology that will make a real difference for people.
The registry is nothing like we’ve seen in Australia. It truly offers a unique way to engage with the users of this service – whether it be hospital staff, aged care workers, GPs, researchers or policy makers – to truly analyse models of care, assess health outcomes and provide solutions for the sector.
The economic and community benefits from this project are exponential. Not only will we aim to reduce hospital admissions, surgical procedures and the number of medications taken by the elderly, but also increase capacity and choice for older people in respect to care, health and accommodation.