The power of AI in boosting rural health

A new project by La Trobe University’s Rural Health School will harness the power of technology and aim to solve the common challenges associated with accessing healthcare in the bush.

The one-day workshop, ‘Shaping the Future of HealthCare from the Ground Up’, will determine whether robots or artificial intelligence can ease the shortcomings of rural healthcare, such as limited services, long distances, and waitlists.

The community was invited to contribute to this event, on Friday 10 November, and co-design rural health solutions with staff across the University’s School of Psychology and Public Health, and the Technology Innovation Lab.

Dr Brad Hodge facilitated a series of activities designed to spark new avenues for research using the power of AI and robotics.

“Our research efforts must align with the community's needs and solutions that truly resonate with them,” Dr Hodge said.

“This workshop is strategically crafted to generate innovative ideas that will steer the development of practical solutions to health in rural regions and people’s wellbeing dilemmas.”

The Rural Health Innovation Lab specialises in bringing diverse groups of people together around shared health and wellbeing challenges.

People who have felt that their health concerns may not have been fully addressed were encouraged to participate.

Professor Jane Mills, Dean of La Trobe’s Rural Health School, said innovation was key to addressing the rural health crisis.

“It’s absolutely critical to improving access, evolving models of care and building the capability and reach of the rural health workforce,” Professor Mills said.

“La Trobe Rural Health School proudly delivers some of Victoria's most advanced and innovative healthcare education to prepare the health workforce of the future.

“We are excited to have the Bendigo community onboard to co-design how technology and innovation can lead to practical solutions for rural patients.”

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