Campaign Follow-up: Chronic Liver Disease | RAH Research Fund
Researcher Profiles 28 September 2018

Campaign Follow-up: Chronic Liver Disease

Diagnostic tool for chronic liver disease a step closer

A $135,000 equipment grant for the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Liver Unit has put the latest scanning device to diagnose and assess the severity of chronic Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFLD) disease a step closer.

But more funding is needed to meet the $200,000 cost of the latest Fibroscan® to replace ageing equipment. NAFLD is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease with long term complications including cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. It’s a silent killer, with many people not aware they have the disease until it’s too advanced.

The Autumn edition of the RAH Researcher outlined the vital work that Dr Eddie Tse and the RAH Liver Unit team are undertaking in combatting NAFLD.

Dr Tse explains that a new Fibroscan® would give the team the ability to diagnose and assess the severity of NAFLD through CAP capability which measures fatty change – the first in
the State with that capability.

Dr Eddie Tse would like to thank donors for their generous support and commitment to his research.

The HealthELink Study

An additional 500 patients are currently part of the HealthElink online treatment platform which has the potential to harness technology for GPs, specialist nurses, carers and patients to manage a whole range of chronic diseases.

Bringing the total to 40 GPs and 150 Hepatitis C patients in the trial, the platform enables patients and health professionals to log in and access treatment plans and the latest medical guidelines. Dr Tse believes the scheme has the potential to positively harness technology and shake up how we interact with the medical system.

“Chronic disease is becoming one of  the largest killers in Australia,” Dr Tse said. “Significant barriers are still in place, preventing those in need of urgent review and assessment.

“We hope one day that projects such as HealthELink will ‘disrupt’ the health industry, allowing specialist lead care to every Australian, so that waiting lists and access due to geographical reasons will be a thing of the past.”

The trial has received praise from Federal Ministers who will continue to work with the team to source additional funding. The Beat Bowel Cancer project at SA Health and the Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) also sees significant application for HealthElink on early screening and management of bowel cancer.

Dr Tse cites the long waiting lists for colonoscopies – a common diagnostic procedure – but up to 23% of colonoscopies are not necessary, clogging the system for those with urgent need.

Through HealthElink, GPs could have access to the latest guidelines and information to make greater evidence-based treatment decisions.

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