Blockchain for liver cancer surveillance

Using clinical-socio-technical framework to design, develop, implement and evaluate a clinical blockchain system for patient-centred liver cancer surveillance to improve outcomes

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

6 March 2023

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International

About the research project

The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common primary liver cancer, is rapidly increasing worldwide. Our initial work showed that while incidence of HCC is increasing in Australia, survival has not improved over time. One of the factors that determine HCC survival is participation in a surveillance program among high-risk population. There is currently no national surveillance program in Australia.

There are various programs that aim to improve surveillance of HCC, mainly involving tertiary liver clinics and/or specialist. The involvement of patients in patient-centred HCC surveillance has not been actively investigated. When different methods and technologies are considered, our team is interested in the use of a clinical blockchain system as a driver for patient-centred surveillance in HCC.

Our team, in collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark, has published the first clinical and socio-technical framework to guide blockchain development in healthcare. This research project aims to use the framework to implement blockchain in HCC surveillance to improve HCC survival.

Research aims:

This research aims to engage patients, clinicians and the healthcare systems to design, develop, implement and evaluate blockchain technology in HCC surveillance, focusing on socio-technical ad clinical factors in order to improve patient outcomes.

Research objectives:

  1. To develop a design framework to integrate socio-technical and clinical factors in the development of clinical blockchain in HCC surveillance.
  2. To develop a model for the development and utilisation of clinical smart contract in blockchain for HCC surveillance.
  3. To investigate the complexity of implementation clinical blockchain in HCC surveillance for better patient care.

Potential candidates are advised to read through publications by the supervisor, on blockchain and HCC prior to discussion of specific topics. There are upcoming manuscripts on clinical blockchain and HCC surveillance, which could be made available to interested candidates on a confidential, pre-publication basis.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Kwang Yee

Funding

Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Eligibility

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Understanding healthcare engagement
  • Understanding healthcare system
  • Understanding evaluation in healthcare
  • Understanding of IT systems in healthcare
  • Good computer and communication skills

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Knowledge in blockchain

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Kwang Yee to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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