More investment has been given to the nuclear medicine field in Australia to improve the technological advancements on people’s health. With this comes also a strong recruitment drive to support the innovations.
A $12.5 million investment toward the expansion of the deep tech-focused ANSTO Innovation Precinct at Lucas Heights was committed by the NSW Government this year.
An estimated 5000 extra jobs are forecast to be created as a result of this investment for ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation). They have already been working towards cutting edge treatments for some diseases and aim to be Australia’s global leader of nuclear medicine.
Nuclear Medicine in Australia
The expansion of the Lucas Heights facility would also help to develop a next-generation nuclear medicine cluster and graduate centre, with 25 scholarships for graduate students.
The Minister for Innovation believed that opening a new Nuclear Medicine and Technology Hub would help with technological development and advances that would eventually influence treatments and people’s lives.
ANSTO could be the new leading nuclear research facility to use ground breaking technology in developing new therapies, creating new treatments for inoperable diseases, as well as monitoring the progression of these diseases.
The state government’s $12.5 million investment over four years would:
- Create incubator projects for nuclear medicine and technology businesses that allow access to cutting edge technology and science in Australia
- Help to establish a graduate institute, including 25 new scholarships
- Drive collaboration between technology businesses, researchers and the industry
According to ANSTO, a global centre of excellence for the future in next-generation nuclear medicines would lead to more clinical trials that can provide treatments currently not available in Australia. For example, one of ANSTO’s partners is already currently engaged in clinical trials of an implantable radiotherapy device – if successful there could be immediate benefits to some inoperable diseases.
Wollongong Hospital – the first in Australia to have a $1.3m digital nuclear medicine machine
Wollongong Hospital is the first medical facility in Australia this year to get the nation’s first digital gamma ray camera. The new machine will be used to scan heart disease and cancers, and replaces any outdated machines.
According to the Director of Nuclear Medicine, the machine will take less time to scan patients and at lower radiation doses. In some cases, the machine uses 75 percent less radiation than previously and these scans are also proven to be safe.
Thanks to this new machine, scans which previously took 15 minutes to complete can now take up to 5 minutes only. Patients can be able to get results faster and their treatments could start sooner.
The new machine could be used on most types of organs and could be used to assist with a wide range of diseases. Patients generally would only need to lie on the bed and the provider can look for the areas for images and diagnosis.
What are your thoughts on the implications of nuclear medicine innovations in healthcare and the medical imaging industry in Australia ? We would love to hear from you.
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