Sunday, July 20, 2008

OHSU's Innovative Research

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) are developing a device to improve monitoring and use resuscitative treatment strategies with patients that develop septic shock. Septic shock alone afflicts 750,000 people a year resulting in 215,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Today over 25% of the entire healthcare budget is spent on patients who develop shock and mortality from shock persists at an unacceptably high rate.

Researchers think that this unacceptably high death rate is due at least in part, to complications from persistent or recurrent periods of end-organ under-perfusion that goes unrecognized and therefore the patients are under treated. Right now, current monitoring techniques and resuscitative treatment strategies are not as effective as they need to be.

Researchers are now working on a device that promises to greatly improve monitoring techniques. They have been working on a “data acquisition device” capable of recording and analyzing high resolution data at the bed side. The hidden information contained in high frequency recordings of physiological data can reveal information on the health status of the patient by highlighting the breakdown of compensatory mechanisms as they occur prior to catastrophic events and during the resuscitative period. The researchers think that development of this device will improve diagnostic abilities to predict and will be able to impact treatment decisions in patients with shock.

Plans are to incorporate the “data acquisition device” into what will be called a “Portable Resuscitation Assist Device in Shock” (PRADS). The smart device will serve as a patient monitor, a sophisticated data analysis system, and will employ artificial intelligence to provide treatment recommendations to care providers based on the information available at the bedside.

The researchers will approach the market place once they have finished developing the device and plan on incorporating the device into existing bedside and portable hemodynamic monitoring systems. They think that this device has applications in the military, in remote locations, and in both rural and urban hospitals worldwide.

So far, a team of expert researchers consisting of intensivists, system scientists, computer programmers, and hemodynamic specialists, involved in this project have worked closely on several projects at OHSU plus they have formed a strategic partnership with the Biomedical Signal Processing Lab at PSU.

For more information, contact Chris Andon at 503-494-4185.