Vascular surgeon Professor Robert Fitridge leads new telemedicine project

August 04, 2021

Professor Robert Fitridge is Professor of Vascular Surgery at The University of Adelaide and Consultant Vascular Surgeon for CAHLN (Central Adelaide Local Health Network) and the Lyell McEwin Health Service. Rob is the lead investigator on a new grant aimed at “Improving telemedicine delivery for Aboriginal people with diabetes-related foot complications using Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR).”

A team of investigators (listed below) from The University of Adelaide, SAHMRI, the University of South Australia, CALHN and Insight Via Artificial Intelligence Pty Ltd, have formed a partnership to undertake this project. A brief summary of the group’s aims states:

“Aboriginal people, especially those in rural or remote communities, are drastically affected by diabetes-related foot complications (DRFCs), which are a leading cause of amputation and require expert care that is not currently readily available at community health centres. We will deliver a Virtual Reality education package to train local and Aboriginal health workers, along with Augmented Reality evaluation of health workers as they conduct foot assessment and treatment. Our scalable education and training program will empower the Aboriginal health workforce to provide evidence-based assessment, monitoring, and treatment of DRFCs for Aboriginal people in and near their home community.”

This grant, valued at $575,000 over one and half years, is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health through The Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) – Emerging Priorities. According to the website [], the IAHP “funds high-quality health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. It funds Indigenous-led, culturally appropriate initiatives to increase access to health care and improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.”

The team of chief investigators involved in this project are:
Professor Robert Fitridge, The University of Adelaide and CALHN

Cathy Loughry, CALHN

Kim Morey, SAHMRI

Professor Alex Brown, SAHMRI and The University of Adelaide

Associate Professor Sara Jones, University of South Australia

Dr Ancret Szpak, University of South Australia

Dr Zygmunt Szpak, Insight Via Artificial Intelligence

For more information on this project, please contact project manager and BHI researcher Dr Neil McMillan, Senior Research Officer with the Vascular Surgery Research Group, via email [email protected].

[photo: Professor Rob Fitridge with Dr Prue Cowled, and the 3rd edition of a book edited by Rob that was published recently. See p4 of June edition of the BHI Winning News for full story.]

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