$7.5 million to trial new wearable health devices and on the spot blood analysis for remote NT communities

The next generation of wearable health monitoring technology will be developed and trialled in ground breaking research funded by the Australian Government.

Senator the Hon Malarndirri McCarthy
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health

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The next generation of wearable health monitoring technology will be developed and trialled in ground breaking research funded by the Australian Government.

Four research projects providing better health monitoring and access to diagnostic testing will receive a total of $7.5 million under the Medical Research Future Fund’s Primary Health Care Research initiative.

Three devices that can be worn in clothing or as accessories—known as “wearables”— will be trialled in the research. The devices will monitor blood pressure in people with hypertension, movement of children with cerebral palsy who cannot walk, and healthy behaviours such as exercise and nutrition in people with Type 2 diabetes.

The fourth project will provide access to a full blood examination at the point -of-care in 20 remote Northern Territory primary healthcare services, which are yet to be chosen. Patients with severe infection (sepsis) could be diagnosed within 10 minutes, rather than four to seven days.

The projects will commence as soon as practical and will be completed within five years.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister McCarthy:

“New health technologies and tools such as wearable health technologies and point-of-care testing have the potential to transform primary health care.

“By putting existing new technologies to the test, these research projects could lead to rapid improvements in health outcomes for people with chronic conditions and for First Australians and others living in remote areas.”

2021 primary health care grant opportunity

Project Title

Project Summary


Funding Amount

CP Movetime

In partnership with children with cerebral palsy, their families, and health care workers, the project will develop and test wearable sensors to monitor the movement of children with cerebral palsy who are unable to walk. The children often spend 96 per cent of the day lying down and more movement will improve their health.

Curtin University


Equitable access to full blood evaluation testing at the point-of-care in remote primary health

This project will provide very remote communities with results for a very common blood test in 10 minutes compared to 4 to 7 days, allowing early diagnosis of severe infection, or sepsis. The project will also measure how this rapid blood test may benefit the general health of remote populations, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Flinders University


Transforming blood pressure control in primary care using the next generation of wearable blood pressure devices: The NEXTGEN-BP randomised trial

This clinical trial will assess the effectiveness of a novel wearable cuffless blood pressure (BP) device in adults with hypertension compared to usual care, at 12 months follow-up. It will also assess this novel strategy’s acceptability to patients and general practitioners; cost-effectiveness; effect on BP medication adherence and tolerability.

University of New South Wales


Wearables Integrated Technology to support healthy behaviours in people with Type 2 Diabetes (Wear-IT)

Exercise and dietary behaviours are vital to controlling type 2 diabetes and preventing complications from this disease. This study will combine information from wearable technologies, including physical activity trackers, with information from the patient's medical record to help people with type-2 diabetes to set goals and monitor progress on physical activity, blood sugar and blood pressure control. Participants will be supported to achieve goals by their GP and Practice Nurse.

Bond University


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