Flinders Leads $2.9M AutoMedic Project

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Flinders University is spearheading a groundbreaking digital health initiative with a budget of $2.9 million. The project, known as AutoMedic, aims to address issues related to medication dosage and failures experienced by patients after they are discharged from hospitals. By developing a more streamlined and accurate electronic record of prescription medicines, the project aims to improve patient recovery and long-term health outcomes.
The Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund National Critical Research Infrastructure Grant project, led by Associate Professor of Digital Health Niranjan Bidargaddi from the College of Medicine and Public Health, will serve as a model for detecting and resolving medicine-related harm. Collaborating with key partners such as SA Pharmacy, Digital Health SA, and SA Pathology, the project has garnered support from academic, industry, and government stakeholders.
With approximately 17 million Australians relying on at least one prescription medicine annually, the need for effective management is evident. Many high-needs patients juggle multiple medications for various co-occurring conditions. Research suggests that up to 90 percent of hospitalized patients may face medication-related problems upon discharge, including inappropriate drug use, incorrect dosage, or treatment duration, particularly when dealing with high-risk drugs for co-morbidities.
Given the staggering number of public hospital presentations, the implementation of accurate e-health solutions becomes crucial. AutoMedic aims to develop an AI-enhanced medicine review system that enables hospital clinical pharmacists to offer timely advice or alternative prescriptions before patients are discharged. The goal is to identify high-risk patients prone to adverse events resulting from medication errors, empowering general practitioners and pharmacies to intervene and prevent potential issues that could lead to re-hospitalization.
In addition to enhancing medicine safety and precision, AutoMedic strives to enhance efficiency and cost savings within state hospital agencies, specifically SA Pharmacy. The project also aims to establish a scalable model that can be implemented nationwide. Associate Professor Bidargaddi, an expert in health informatics, leads the Digital Health Lab at Flinders University, and the research team consists of national leaders in clinical care, algorithm development, and various government, academic, and industry partners.
The AutoMedic system will continuously evolve and become smarter over time. Patients will be ranked based on the urgency and significance of their medication reviews, with higher priority given to regimens posing potential harm. This intelligent ranking system will assist hospital pharmacists in streamlining patient reviews and reconciling medication lists, a task that currently demands significant time and effort.
Richard Marotti, Executive Director of SA Pharmacy, emphasizes the need for a technology-enabled tool that facilitates medication reconciliation and identifies medicines at risk. The new system will improve the delivery of clinical pharmacy services, prevent medication errors, and enhance overall medication safety.
AutoMedic will work in conjunction with the federal My Health Record platform, which consolidates prescription, imaging, and pathology data from Medicare-funded programs. The project will also leverage the benefits of the “Sunrise AllScripts” electronic medical record system deployed at public hospitals in South Australia.
Collaborating institutions in the AutoMedic project include Flinders University, the Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML), the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia (UniSA), and the SA Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

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