The Australian government has allocated A$57m ($37.9m) to advance healthcare through artificial intelligence (AI) and genomics research.

This investment aims to ‘transform’ the healthcare system and enhance the diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases and cancer.

The funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will support a total of 18 research projects.

Nearly A$30m of the allocated funds will be directed towards initiatives to explore how AI can be used to improve patient outcomes.

These include ten AI-driven research projects that aim to help expedite its health and medical technology innovation in Australia.

These projects are expected to enhance care for individuals with multiple sclerosis, improve the prevention of cardiac health issues and increase access to skin cancer assessments.

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The remaining A$27m has been earmarked for eight genomic research projects that aim to advance the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers and genetic diseases.

This funding includes an A$8m investment for a new consortium dedicated to developing and testing AI-driven analytical tools in a safe and ethical manner.

The consortium’s efforts will funded by the Genomics Health Futures Mission.

Australian Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler said: “This research is world-leading and these projects have the potential to be game changers that will lead to advances in diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for Australians and around the world.

“I want to thank the ongoing work of our top scientists, whose research in this field will make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The Australian government recently announced plans to invest almost A$30m in research into new ways of using AI to enhance access to health services and maintain a ‘world-class’ health system.

As part of this, the MRFF awarded ten grants to leading universities that are researching how AI could be used to improve care for multiple sclerosis, prevent cardiac health issues and increase access to skin cancer assessments.