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Barwon Health and Deakin University researchers receive ‘COVIDthon’ Research Prize

Bendigo hosted ‘COVIDthon’ on the 25th and 26th of March.

Bendigo Health and Victorian Department of Health’s Centre for Victorian Data Linkage (CVDL) ran COVIDthon, a COVID-focused datathon. The event brings together researchers, data scientists and clinicians to explore COVID-19 and its ongoing impact on healthcare and service delivery in Victoria.

Dr Darcie Cooper and Dr Michael Muleme from Deakin University and the Barwon Health Public Health Unit were part of the winning team at COVIDthon. Congratulations!

The ‘Long COVID’ team included Darcie, Michael and Danielle Hitch a Deakin health economist. The team also collaborated with three data scientists and an academic from La Trobe University. Their research question was “What are the demographic and clinical characteristics of people accessing health services three to six months after COVID-19 infection, and what services do they access?”

Consequently, winning the research prize now allows the team to complete and extend their studies on Long COVID.

The preliminary findings of their collective research indicates some groups were more likely to access health services than others. The age range of the heaviest service users are middle-aged adults which is an unexpected result. They analysed patient service use through the continuum of care because Long COVID affects multiple systems. These systems include home and community care, hospital admissions, emergency department presentations, mental health and community health.

Furthermore, the team will tackle the challenge of identifying who has ‘Long COVID’ compared to those who do not have COVID. This will aid to develop risk-profile tools to assist with prioritising service provision for long COVID patients.

Congratulations to the Long Covid Team!