Take a 30-minute train ride from Redfern train station and you will find a diverse team of clinicians, academics and professional staff from an array of backgrounds, beavering away in the Research and Education Network building, at Westmead Hospital. Through pioneering research and innovative partnerships, the Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC) is translating complex research into practical and sustainable healthcare delivery to meet the challenge of chronic disease in western Sydney.
Almost half of Australians have a chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, or mental health conditions. One in four has at least two of these illnesses, and these conditions frequently share common causes. With one in 11 Australians residing in the greater western Sydney region this culturally and linguistically diverse population has some of the highest rates of chronic disease in the country. The community presents a range of complex health needs and social circumstances.
Our body of research aims to empower patients to self-manage their disease, and support health professionals to make informed, timely clinical decisions that will prevent chronic illness and its progression. On any given day there are some 40 projects working towards these goals, and harnessing the potential of digital health to do it. From text messaging trials to investigating the interoperability of electronic medical records. Data extraction for detailed patient pathways, to pioneering cardiac procedures and models of care. Delivering mixed media health literacy and community education programs, to exploring the uses of machine learning and artificial intelligence in health.
WARC is just over a year old, established by the University of Sydney, in collaboration with the Western Sydney Local Health District to improve patient and population health using digital health interventions and therapeutics. Working with individuals at the hospital and university, other local, national and international partners WARC is delivering translational world-class research.
This edition of the DHIN newsletter features some members of our team talking about their exciting projects. We are always looking for new opportunities to collaborate with groups or individuals. We are open to visiting fellows, PhD opportunities for talented students who are keen to further their education in research. Please get in touch here, we’d love to hear from you.
Westmead Applied Research Centre on Twitter @WARC_USYD