Greg Hunt announces $30 million in new MRFF grant opportunities

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced new $30 million grant opportunities from the Medical Research Future Fund.

The first $20 million in opportunities, with grants over four years starting in 2021-2022, is targeted at Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions in Children and Adolescents.

"An estimated 880,000 musculoskeletal problems in children and adolescents are managed in primary care in Australia each year," said Minister Hunt.

"Musculoskeletal conditions that affect children and adolescents include juvenile idiopathic arthritis, juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus, back and hip conditions, muscular dystrophies and musculoskeletal pain."

>Minister Hunt said the intended outcome of this grant opportunity is to improve the health of children and adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal conditions by developing superior diagnostic approaches and by building evidence for best treatment approaches, including improved therapeutic regimes and validated models of care.

The second $10 million grant opportunity will open to help researchers develop and implement new approaches for improving patient care and health outcomes through better use of health information.

The Research Data Infrastructure grant opportunity is for projects that bring together information held in different systems or platforms or that use novel methods like artificial intelligence to answer important health questions.

"Better use of data will help to enable earlier diagnosis and increase the effectiveness of treatments and improve health outcomes," said Minister Hunt.

"It will also help reduce the probability of adverse reactions, better prevent diseases by identifying risk factors, and improve the monitoring of the effects of medical drugs."

He added, "These grants will continue to help our world-leading health and medical researchers build evidence to develop superior diagnostic approaches, and best treatment approaches, including improved therapeutic regimes and models of care.

"Health and medical research remains our best hope to improve health outcomes for all Australians. It saves lives and improves lives."