CCRE CIs and AIs win 2011 NHMRC Partnership Grant

Telehealth facilitation of diabetes and cardiovascular care in Australia

Diabetes Centre of Clinical Research Excellence chief investigators, Alicia Jenkins, Kerin O'Dea and Hugh Taylor, and associate investigators, Sven-Erik Bursell, Kevin Rowley, David O'Neal, Danny Liew, Anthony Keech, Ecosse Lamoureux and Tien Wong, were recently awarded a 2011 NHMRC Partnership Grant providing $1.2 million over 3 years for 'Telehealth facilitation of fiabetes and cardiovascular care in Australia'. 

The project will be led by an international telehealth expert, Associate Professor Sven-Erik Bursell, director of the Diabetes Telehealth Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Hawaii. 

Head of the Centre for Indigenous Vascular and Diabetes Research at the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, Dr Alex Brown, is also a chief investigator on the project.  The Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory is another partner.


Teleretinal imaging will be used to assess risk for diabetic retinopathy and cardiovascular disease and will be part of a suite of ehealth services providing a holistic health care program. It is expected to reduce the impact of chronic disease in indigenous communities in rural and remote areas in a cost-efficient manner and to reduce the health care disparity gap. 

Teleretinal imaging takes retinal images with a portable system that does not require the eye pupil to be dilated with drops. The images are then securely transmitted via internet for specialist assessment of retinal disease. The reports are securely sent back to the originating site, and the patient is provided with health care management and a reduced risk of developing diabetic or cardiovascular complications.

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