$4m digital health project to help front line medical workers battle COVID-19

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$4m digital health project to help front line medical workers battle COVID-19

Leveraging real-time data and analytics.

Front line medical workers treating COVID-19 patients are set to benefit from a $4 million digital health project bringing together health services, clinicians and researchers to improve health outcomes with the use of real-time data and analytics.

The Digital Health CRC's Clinical Data and Analytics Platform (CDAP) will provide nationally available data on the coronavirus’ progression to help uncover why some people experience only mild symptoms while for others it can be fatal and inform clinicians' decision-making.

The platform serves as a way to capture a broad range of clinical and patient reported data spanning the entirety of a patient’s journey, from diagnosis through to long-term follow up, complementing existing analytics projects by allowing rapid data linkage across different sources such a pathology and radiology.

Chief executive of the Digital Health CRC, Dr Victor Pantano, said part of the challenge in taming the pandemic is that there aren’t any well-established or proven treatments for the disease anywhere in the world.

“The COVID19 pandemic highlights the need to have effective and timely ways to gather information about people and to analyse this immediately so that doctors can use that information to guide the way they treat the patient in front of them.

“Such real time use of data has not been possible to date. CDAP is one way in which this can be achieved.”

Professor Ann Nicholson, of Monash University, who is leading the analytical modelling aspects of CDAP, said causal Bayesian networks would help clinicians and scientists understand COVID-19 disease and health outcomes in an organised way.

“This decision support tool will be used to predict which patients will need hospital and intensive care admission, as well as the likely outcomes of interventions, as we learn more about this disease over time,” Nicholson said.

“We hope that this approach can save lives but also keep more people out of hospital, which will put less pressure on our healthcare systems.”

The project is led by the Queensland University of Technology’s eResearch director, Professor Matthew Bellgard, who said the team is working closely with both Queensland and NSW health departments to ensure knowledge and expertise is shared across state lines to maximise the impact of research into the disease.

“We are also working closely with consumer groups and privacy and ethics experts to ensure that the way we create and use the platform complies with the expectations of the community and legislation,” Bellgard said.

Funded by MTPConnect, this project is a collaboration between QLD Health, NSW Health, Commonwealth Health, Queensland University of Technology, University of Sydney and Monash University.

To date there have been over 6900 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia.

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