The Westmead Applied Research Centre have won Australia's inaugural $1 million Google AI Impact Challenge.

The University of Sydney team customised a digital program that will use AI to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

As part of the prize, Westmead will receive expert support to develop the heart attack prevention program.

"This support from Google recognises our pioneering work in this space," said University Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.

"AI has the potential to transform health care globally – from crisis management to prevention."

Change lives

Using machine learning, the digital health program will deliver tailored advice and nudges to participants who have presented at the hospital with chest pain, harnessing their digital footprint to reduce the risk of a heart attack.

Combining clinical and consumer-derived data, such as from mobile phone apps, with AI, Westmead believe the accuracy of risk assessment will be improved.

"Modifiable risk factors account for over 90 percent of the risk of heart attack worldwide," said Professor Chow, who is a cardiologist at Westmead Hospital.

"Chest pain is the second most common reason people present to emergency department in Australia and may be an early warning sign," she added.

"Early identification and monitoring could prevent patients returning to hospital suffering a heart attack but currently this is poorly done."

Professor Chow is also cardiologist at the University of Sydney’s Westmead Clinical School and academic director of the WARC. She won praise for leading the team.

“Congratulations to WARC, Professor Chow and her team," said Graeme Loy, Chief Executive Western Sydney Local Health District. "This wonderful opportunity will help us to advance healthcare and change lives."

The Westmead Applied Research Centre launched in collaboration with the Western Sydney Local Health District in 2018. Its aim is to focus on translational research addressing chronic illness and their causes.