Grant success - Sydney Health Partners

02 October 2019
Grant Success

A Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network study of the clinical and economic benefits of treating type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients with a “virtual pancreas” is amongst several research projects which have received Federal Government funding through Sydney Health Partners.

A grant of almost $225,000 has been awarded to the project led by Professor Maria Craig, Senior Staff Specialist in Paediatric Endocrinology and NHMRC Practitioner Fellow at the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Her team will measure the clinical and economic benefits of treating T1D patients with a new technology known as a hybrid closed-loop insulin pump, and compare the outcomes with those of traditional multiple daily injection therapies. Unlike conventional insulin pumps, hybrid closed loop systems automatically vary insulin delivery in response to continuous blood glucose monitoring.

One of the Principal Investigators, Associate Professor Janes Holmes Walker, says that until now, no-one in the world has attempted to quantify whether the health and lifestyle benefits of the new pumps outweigh the costs as compared with management with multiple daily injections.

“Because hybrid closed-loop insulin pumps are not currently available to public health patients, it is important to research their health economic impacts,” she said.

“We will collect data including the number of GP and hospital visits and health complications experienced by those using the new technology compared with T1D patients on conventional therapies. But we will also attempt to put a dollar value of the quality of life improvements that may result from use of the new technology.”

Associate Professor Hasantha Gunasekera, Clinical Academic and Staff Specialist General Paediatrician at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead has also been awarded a grant from Sydney Health Partners for his project titled ‘Hearing Ear Health and Language Services: evaluation and scale-up of a primary care health service delivery program for Aboriginal children”.

His team will be conducting a quantitative analysis of existing ear health intervention for Aboriginal children to improve diagnosis, referral attendance and waiting times for access to ear health services for Aboriginal children in New South Wales. This important study will investigate the current model for ear health within the Aboriginal community and whether going forward the program is cost effective.

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network is a major partner of Sydney Health Partners, an unincorporated joint venture that also includes the Western Sydney, Northern Sydney and Sydney Local Health Districts, the University of Sydney and their affiliated medical research institutes and centres. The Executive Director of Sydney Health Partners, Professor Garry Jennings, said that a total of 11 Rapid Applied Research Translation projects were chosen for funding from across the partner organisations.

“All the successful projects shared Sydney Health Partners’ vision of delivering the benefits of health and medical research to our patients and communities more quickly. They have been chosen for ready ability to be implemented in a clinical setting and strong prospects of delivering tangible benefits to patient care within a 12-to-18 month period,” he said.

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