While respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are incurable, they can be managed and/or prevented. Our aim is to prevent, and better treat conditions caused by respiratory and sleep disorders.
We will innovate across disciplines and industries to solve high burden health problems. We will build capacity within and beyond our team to advance the prevention and treatment of disease. We will conduct large-scale research projects that focus on breathlessness, respiratory infections, sleep disorders, and environmental and occupational health. And we will translate this research into practice that reduces the burden of these diseases.
Over the past few months we’ve been developing projects that improve the quality of life for people living with breathing and sleep disorders.
- Respiratory Infection
We are looking at how we can prevent the spread of respiratory viruses at home and in the community. This is important as lung infections can lead to exacerbations or lung attacks. Our research investigates whether infections could be controlled through hygiene, isolation or vaccinations. We have new projects to be launched in 2019 led by Professors Jenkins and Rawlinson.
- Respiratory Breathlessness
During our Breathlessness Workshop in 2018, it was suggested we need simple algorithms for managing lung disease. As a result, we are developing a digital algorithm to diagnose and manage breathlessness – with greater accuracy and speed. Our hope is that E-Breathe will lead to better outcomes for people with respiratory breathlessness.
- Environmental and Occupational Health
We are developing 2 projects under this theme. The first is a respiratory surveillance tool that will monitor the lung health of coal miners to ensure any lung health issues are diagnosed early. The second will investigate the role of environmental pollutants and diet in the respiratory health of unborn babies. We are proposing the use of environmental interventions during pregnancy, to reduce respiratory, vascular and metabolic conditions in infants.
- Sleep Disorders
Following our Sleep Disorders workshop in September 2018, we are researching how being hospitalised affects the sleep quality of the patient, and what this means for their recovery. We aim to assess the extent of the problem, and potentially, to develop devices that will reduce the impact of ward noise and other disturbances on sleep quality. We are also conducting a pilot study into pregnant women who have sleep apnoea. The intention is to develop a model of care that’s available to all pregnant women, agree the best device for monitoring sleep, and choose the best tool for intervening.
The local communities we serve are diverse in culture, language, historical origin and burden of disease.
Our team includes primary care doctors and nurses, community and paediatric physicians, allied health workers, and public health physicians. They are experienced in dealing with problems of diverse communities, including remote and international communities.
We work in conjunction with primary care, community and Non-Government Organisation health sectors. And partner with pre-eminent organisations in this space, including: