The MSK CAG members have built upon the XRAIT technology developed by Associate Professor Chris White and his team prior to his involvement with the MSK CAG. This technology has increased the identification of minimal trauma fractures associated with osteoporosis using artificial intelligence software applied to X-ray images. Identification of osteoporosis has been increased three-fold as a result of this technology. Once identified, the wicked problem emerged of how to successfully treat the growing numbers of patients. The Osteoporosis Refracture Prevention (ORP) Clinics became a vital part of meeting this demand.
The ORP clinics have demonstrated that they are an effective means to assess, diagnose and prescribe appropriate therapy to prevent secondary fractures in patients with osteoporosis, ORP Clinics are an essential first step in prevention of refracture however they are the first of many steps. To really impact health outcomes and prevent refracture in osteoporosis, patients need to be educated and engaged with their treatments for long-term adherence, and they need monitoring through primary care. Plans are in progress on ways to develop and integrate these care components, including through these two funded projects.
The Osteoporosis Consumer Awareness Project will develop educational materials and promote bone health to both the young and old through high schools, community pharmacies and direct community events.
The importance of education around bone health is vital both for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. The successful bid for the Osteoporosis Consumer Awareness Grant was attributed to the multidisciplinary team who identified the potential of educating patients and improving adherence to Osteoporosis medications in a community pharmacy setting which remains an underutilised source of research in primary care. The educational components of this project are quite diverse and include educational packages developed for the growing teenager to be delivered through PDHPE lessons at school. This group needs to be made aware of the importance of weight bearing exercise and a good diet to ensure good bone health throughout their lifetime. The educational requirements of the older more vulnerable patients will require a different focus with greater emphasis on monitoring bone health, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and adherence to osteoporosis medications.
These two projects together strengthen the fight to improve bone health in Australia.