Who are we?
The Wellington Medical Technology Group is a multi-dicplinary research team developing clinical decision support technologies (software) and medical devices (hardware) that can help clinicians make faster and more accurate decisions at the point of care. Members of our group come from different backgrounds including clinicians, surgeons, as well as scientists with backgrounds in systems physiology, computer science, electrical engineering, physics, and mathematics.
What are we currently doing?
Portable NMR sensor technology for brain monitoring
Oxygen deprivation to the brain leading to irreversible brain injury is a devastating condition that is both common and hard to treat. Central to the clinical problem is that brain tissue has minimal ability to regenerate, so unless tissue re-oxygenation occurs rapidly, death or permanent disability ensues. Current technologies for detecting brain injuries have limited practical utility as they are either non-specific, highly invasive, or are financially prohibitive. Our goal is to develop powerful but low cost technologies that can detect and monitor molecular biomarkers of brain injury.
Near Infrared spectroscopy for Monitoring brain Oxygenation in preterm infants (NIMO)
Near infrared spectroscopy is a simple, non-invasive, low-cost and portable technology, which utilises LED light to detect oxygen concentration within any tissue (i.e. organ underneath the skin where the probe is placed). Cerebral oxygenation measured using NIRS has the potential to become an integral part of routine clinical care of extremely preterm infants in New Zealand and improve their long-term outcomes. However, any attempts to introduce a new monitoring technique require careful consideration of its implementation and efficacy. The goal of NIMO-Prem is to develop a thorough understanding of the ‘optimal’ cerebral oxygenation target and what factors play a role in influencing cerebral oxygenation in extremely preterm infants.
Prevention of ischaemic neurovascular injury through enhanced nitric oxide bioavailability
Although stroke is among the most common causes of morbidity in New Zealand, few therapies have been shown to improve stroke outcomes. Recent animal studies have found that enhanced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability improves function following ischaemic stroke. However, the cerebrovascular effects of nitrate supplementation remain poorly understood particularly in humans. Therefore, using data from both stroke patients and animals models, we aim to better understand the interactions between NO bioavailability, cerebral haemodynamics, and neurological outcomes during acute stroke. Insights gained from this study will lay the foundations for clinical trials examining the role of NO supplementation in stroke management.
Whats on our drawing board?
Precision Health in Intensive Care - The PHysIC project
Enormous amounts of data are routinely collected from patients in hospital intensive care units, yet most of these data are not used to generate evidence or improve healthcare. This project aims to combine clinical and physiologic data collected from intensive care patients, which can be mined by clinicians and scientists for deep information. Our vision is to develop predictive algorithms and decision support tools that will help hospitals reduce the incidence of inadequate treatment responses, unnecessary treatments, adverse drug reactions, and complications that may result in prolonged or avoidable ICU readmissions. We are currently seeking funding to kick start this exciting programme so watch this space!
Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
Health Research Council
National Heart Foundation
Wellington Medical Research Foundation