GenV health study will use ground breaking research to improve children’s health
The Victorian Government has announced a significant investment in children’s health over their lifetime through the next phase of the GenV study, which is designed to provide answers to complex medical issues and drive better health outcomes for Victorian families.
GenV aims to track the wellbeing of more than 100,000 Victorians throughout their lives, with a $14 million investment in the project announced as part of the Victorian Budget 2021/22.
The investment will support the next phase of the project, which will invite every baby born in Victoria over the two years from 1 July 2021 to join the study.
In addition to providing invaluable data for researchers, the study will make it easier to detect avoidable health issues in children by catching early warning signs.
Participating families will receive regular communication to ensure they are fully aware of the project’s progression and how data will be used, and will be able to opt out of the study at any time.
The pilot program began at the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital in 2020 and has since expanded to 65 hospitals across Victoria, with the extra investment opening the door for every Victorian hospital to take part.
So far 677 newborn babies have been involved, including 11 sets of twins, with 93 per cent of parents being satisfied with their involvement.
GenV will also be a world-first investigation into the long-term effects of coronavirus on babies and children, shedding light on both the physical and economic impacts of the pandemic. The program will provide invaluable evidence which will shape strategies across health, early childhood development, education and human services.
GenV has already established a state-of-the-art biobank that enables the safe storage of biological samples from participants, which is the first of its kind in Australia and the largest -80°C biobank in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is leading the project and working with the Royal Children’s Hospital, the University of Melbourne and the Paul Ramsay Foundation. The new investment builds on previous funding of $16 million, bringing the total Government support for GenV to $30 million.
To learn more about the Gen V Health Study please see here.