20/09/2021 | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

In an Australian first, the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) today launched an interactive, augmented reality research app to immerse users in labs, wards and clinics.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the app, funded by The Hospital Research Foundation Group, has launched as part of SALHN’s Research Week, highlighting the importance and value of enquiry and research in continually improving patient outcomes.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to improving the delivery of health and medical research to not only foster innovation and improvements in health, but to also continue to contribute to our economy through attracting investment, funding and expertise to South Australia,” said Minister Wade.

“Our state has a long-standing history of research improving the health and wellbeing of our communities and innovative models and approaches led by our researchers and facilities help us to stand out above the rest.

“The new Active Research Trail (ART) app truly showcases South Australia’s nation leading health and medical research activities, with the interactive app providing technology to help consumers learn about and get involved with research which will help shape healthcare into the future.”

The ART app is available to download via SALHN-RIC.com.au and can be used by scanning logos placed in specific physical locations along the trail at Flinders Medical Centre.

The codes will each trigger augmented reality videos that showcase a clinic, ward or laboratory involved in a research project, including SALHN Consultant Nephrologist Professor Jonathan Gleadle in the Renal Lab and A/Co-Director, Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Palliative Care Petra Bierer in the Rehabilitation Building.

SALHN Executive Director of Research Strategy, Professor Andrew Bersten said Research Week is an opportunity to highlight the variety of initiatives currently being undertaken by staff, alongside key partners such as Flinders University and Flinders Foundation.

“We know that collaboration and engagement by clinicians and healthcare organisations in research significantly improves performance and outcomes for our patients,” said Professor Bersten.

“The Southern Adelaide Local Health Network has a strong history of enquiry and improvement, critical thinking, problem solving and innovation alongside our partners and we want to take this even further by involving more community members in our research projects.

“Research Week and the ART app showcase the work of our staff and gives community members more opportunities to learn about and get involved in our research projects.

“We hope to be able to build on the technology used in the ART app to take users into hospitals, clinics, COVID-19 vaccinations centres or even health into their homes to change the way people receive information and access healthcare.”

Paul Flynn, CEO of the Hospital Research Foundation Group, said “we are pleased to be able to support such an important initiative that combines clinical care and research resulting in better outcomes for patients.”

“If there’s anything the events of the past 18 months have taught us, it’s the importance of medical research to keep our communities safe. This innovative app helps immerse the community in these environments so they can see firsthand the incredible research being done in South Australia.”

The theme for Research Week 2021 is based on the SALHN Four Fields of Enquiry, with each area having a dedicated day to showcase their research. These include Discovery Science, Clinical Trials, Health Services Research and Continuous Improvement/Implementation Science.

For more information and to register, see the SALHN Research Week Program.