- Premature babies set to benefit from new space technology platform
- King Edward Memorial Hospital first to implement new software
Computer technology used to track the vital statistics of astronauts in space could one day be saving the lives of seriously ill babies here in Western Australia.
The Department of Health is investigating the potential of incorporating such technology into its neonatal intensive care units (NICU), through a small proof-of-concept study.
Known as Artemis, the computer technology platform would act as an early warning system for medical staff, alerting them instantly to potentially significant physiological changes that might signal deterioration in a patient's condition.
By hooking into an array of bedside monitors - which are already standard in NICU - Artemis would capture and analyse patient indicators such as oxygen saturation levels, heart rate and respiratory rate to alert medical staff to potentially concerning changes.
Artemis had been known to detect subtle but significant changes in a patient's physiology up to 24 hours before the patient began to show visible signs of decline.
The computer technology platform was developed by Australian-born computer scientist, Professor Carolyn McGregor AM. Now based in Canada, Professor McGregor is Canada Research Chair in Health Informatics at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
Artemis is capable of collecting and analysing 90 million pieces of data, per baby per day.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"This is about putting patients first. We are incredibly excited about this cutting-edge project being done in the public health system, through the NICU at King Edward Memorial Hospital.
"Artemis will not replace the doctors and nurses who do an amazing job caring for these vulnerable babies but will serve as an early warning system and arm them with additional, and in some cases, vital information.
"This truly is extraordinary work being done and I'm pleased to say the McGowan Government is a strong supporter of health and medical research, and innovation - and as a result, this State is leading the way."
Minister's office - 6552 6500