Date published: 
29 June 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Morrison Government is investing $19 million in transformative medical research projects using game-changing applied artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, to improve the ways we prevent, diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions.

The Government is providing more than $8 million for two projects that will use AI to improve mental health treatments for Australians.

The University of Sydney will receive more than $3 million to improve youth mental health care through the development of new tools to guide clinical decisions about the appropriate interventions and treatments for individuals presenting for care.

This project will use AI to test and quantify the impacts of youth mental health interventions and as a result support the development of an ethical clinical decision-support tool that identifies how to target assessment and interventions to optimise outcomes for individuals presenting for mental health care.

The University of New South Wales will receive almost $5 million to use AI to understand and optimise the treatments for stress, anxiety and depression.

AI will be used to understand which interventions, or components of therapies provide the vital, active ingredients, and why they are more effective for some patients and not others.

The aim of this project is to use AI to shorten the trial period where some people are provided with non‑optimal treatments for their conditions and thus improving their health, social and economic wellbeing.

AI is critical to the future of health care. Funding is over three years from 2019–20.

This funding from the Government’s $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Applied Artificial Intelligence Research in Health grant opportunity has the potential to lead to significant health benefits for Australians including:

  • improved efficiency of research
  • more informed clinical decision-making
  • new approaches for health care delivery, and
  • empowering people to help manage their health.

Further information on the MRFF is available at


Project Title


Centre for Eye Research Australia

Artificial intelligence system to detect eye and cardiovascular diseases



St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research

Transforming Breast Cancer Screening with Artificial Intelligence (AI)


University of Sydney

Explainable machine learning to improve youth mental health care


University of Sydney

Translating AI Networks to Support Clinical Excellence in Neuro Diseases



University of New South Wales

Optimising treatments in mental health using AI