Estimate the Economic Benefit of the Australia MedicAlert Foundation Medical Emergency Service

Location: Adelaide, SA

Duration: 3 months

Project Background

The Australia Medic Alert Foundation (AMAF) is a non-profit organisation committed to protecting people who have a significant health risk such as an allergy, a significant health condition such as diabetes or a medical implant. The service provides medical emergency first responders with vital information when it is needed.

The AMAF provides significant benefit to the community in terms of better health outcomes and economic savings to both public and private healthcare funders. The improved health outcomes are quite widely understood. The economic benefit to the community is less well defined.

Research is required to estimate the economic value, which comes mainly through avoiding harm and providing the most appropriate health care at the start of an emergency episode.

The main purpose of identifying the economic value of MedicAlert membership is to enable conversations with public and private healthcare funders about the potential savings if more of their patients and members had a MedicAlert membership.

There would be a secondary purpose in marketing to the broader community to help them understand how having a personal MedicAlert membership contributes to lower community healthcare costs and improved personal wellbeing. If we can inform government health agencies of the potential savings, that may open up opportunities for government advocacy and even funding. Private health insurers will be more active in promoting MedicAlert membership if they are certain of the indirect savings.

Research to be Conducted

The objective of this research is to determine the economic benefit to the individual and community from MedicAlert membership. Research is required to identify the costs and the benefits and to quantity those effects so as to inform an economic evaluation.
Possible methods may include:

  1. Semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders to identify and characterise benefits. This could be used to inform the development of a survey.
  2. A survey of members and matched controls to quantify the relative contribution of those benefits to members.
  3. Analysis of health system and community service utilisation data to further quantify the relative benefits. Study 1, 2 and 3 would form the data to enable Study 3 the economic evaluation.
  4. Undertake an economic evaluation (probably a cost-benefit analysis) based on data obtained the above.

The principal focus of the research should be on those more tangible savings gained from avoidance of harm in the initial stages of an emergency episode and more efficient care throughout.

While the principal focus of this research is on the identification and quantification of relative benefit, if done comprehensively there would be additional benefits to be derived for other purposes including marketing, information exchange and service provision.

Skills Required

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

  • Data analytics – Experience of working with health data sets
  • Knowledge of survey development and implementation
  • Experience of conducting semi-structured interviews
  • Knowledge of the Healthcare sector in Australia
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Economics

Expected Outcomes

A report that explains the economic benefit of the AMAF medical emergency service. While economic benefit is the main focus of the report, reference to improved health outcomes that may emerge from the research would be of value.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

11 December 2019


APR – 1206