$5 million spotlight on telehealth research

Six research projects in the field of telehealth will share in more than $5 million in grants to build an evidence base for how to best use the service, following widespread adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants announced on Monday, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, will support projects in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Before the pandemic, telehealth services accounted for just one of the 2,000 Medicare services provided. But as of 2022, telehealth now accounts for 330 of every 2,000, reaching 620 when GP-specific Medicare services are taken into account.

The telehealth grants were announced Monday, nearly two months earlier than expected, with funding awarded through the one-time “Targeted Call for Research: Ensuring the quality and safety of telehealth 2023.”

Among the successful applicants, most of whom received grants of just under $1 million, is a collaborative project to improve the design of virtual emergency services, led by Professor Jonathon Karnon of Flinders University.

Projects investigating the delivery of telecare to people living in residential aged care and rural and remote Australia are led by Professor Meredith Makeham of the University of Sydney and Professor Sarah Larkins of James Cook University respectively. Below you will find a complete list of funded projects.

When the grant program opened for applications in July 2023, successful applicants were initially expected to be announced in June 2024, according to peer review guidelines.

Health Minister Mark Butler said the expansion of telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has crammed “10 years of change into 10 days.”

“Telehealth has become a permanent part of the healthcare system today as both patients and healthcare providers benefit from its convenience and potential to remove the tyranny of distance that has sometimes made healthcare so challenging, especially for rural and remote Australia ” says Mr Butler. said.

“The Albanian government is committed to unlocking the potential of telehealth while ensuring its safety and quality for patients.”

The program has four objectives that aim to provide evidence to support future telehealth health policy and improve existing services.

This includes the goal of identifying measures to guide decision-making about the use of telehealth by healthcare providers, developing tools and support to improve telehealth delivery, and developing evaluation methods for its clinical and economic effectiveness.

The program also called for research into understanding the factors that influence the effectiveness of telehealth among different populations, health conditions and interactions.

Details of the funded projects are as follows:

Controlling attitude Lead researcher Login title Budget Duration of the subsidy
University of Melbourne Professor Elif Ekinci Promoting quality and safe virtual diabetes care in emergencies (VIRDI) $915,823.40 2024 to 2026
La Trobe University Professor Della Forster Does offering a combination of video health care and face-to-face visits for prenatal care lead to a better patient experience and is it as safe as standard (face-to-face) care? A co-designed, randomized, controlled non-inferiority trial $999,585.40 2024 to 2028
James Cook University Professor Sarah Larkins Leveraging NQ’s telehealth experience to provide contextually informed process guidance to optimize healthcare access, quality and safety in rural and remote Australia $997,376.40 2024 to 2028
University of Sydney Professor Meredith Makeham The general practice and residential aged care study of telehealth-augmented holistic care – research into safety, quality, acceptability and sustainability: ‘The GRACE-Telehealth Study’ $999,969.95 2024 to 2027
Flinders University Professor Jonathan Karnon Enabling safe, high-quality and high-quality virtual emergency care in Australia $999,945.60 2024 to 2026
Australian National University Professor Christine Philips Improving safe telehealth for all in high-risk consultations: a multi-perspective mixed methods study $602,998.00 2024 to 2026

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via email.