Professor Ian Hickie and the Youth Mental Health and Technology Team at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre will lead a youth-focused technology-driven health services research project, Best Care, First Time.
Launched today at the Brain and Mind Centre, supported by the Bupa Health Foundation, the project aims to provide better coordination of care to improve the lives of young people.
The study will investigate how Australian Government supported technology – being delivered through InnoWell, a joint venture between the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre and Pricewaterhouse Coopers Australia – can support the coordination of highly-personalised care across primary, secondary, and hospital-level clinics as well as between public and private services.
Despite a significant investment in services, many people find it difficult to access the care they need.
Professor Hickie said that in an area that is historically poorly-funded and under-researched, researchers will use an evidence-based and data-driven approach to provide genuine integration of personal care.
“The project uses new digital technologies combined with a continuous and streamlined circle of care,” Professor Hickie said.
“This program of practical health-services research, at the regional scale, is just what the Australian health system needs.”
Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, welcomed the new project.
“Mental health is our great national challenge. Despite a significant investment in services, many people find it difficult to access the care they need,” Minister Hunt said.
“Best Care, First Time will investigate how technology can make it easier for young people with emerging mood or psychotic disorders to navigate the mental health system.”
Associate Professor Annette Schmiede, Bupa Health Foundation’s executive leader, said: “ … investment in research and development at a systems level is needed to ensure best outcomes for patients and the health system are achieved”.