The WA Country Health Service has partnered with Curtin University in a bid to increase research into kidney disease, boost telehealth services, and address regional residents’ unique healthcare needs. The newly formed partnership — dubbed the WACHS-Curtin University Research and Innovation Alliance — will aim to better identify and manage chronic kidney disease, which is twice as likely to affect regional residents as it is city-dwellers, and four times more frequent in Aboriginal Australians than in the rest of the population. Telehealth services are set to be bolstered, with WACHS given access to data analytics and innovative new virtual reality and 3-D imaging technology. Health Minister Roger Cook said co-locating would allow researchers, students and WACHS teams to foster a two-way learning culture. “The WA Country Health Service and Curtin University Research and Innovation Alliance is built on the premise that no one should be disadvantaged based on where they live,” he said. “A key focus of the Alliance will be developing training for country health frontline employees, to ensure their skill set is tailored to meet the specific needs of the communities they serve.” The WACHS Research and Innovation team will move next year to be on-site at the university’s new Exchange precinct, the first dedicated industry-connected innovation district at the Perth university.