Electrical & Computer Engineering in Medicine

Who are we?

ECEM is a unique collaboration of engineers, computer scientists, psychologists and clinicians at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. We are focused on performing innovative research at the interface between technology and patient care. Since our inception in 2001 our vision has been to enhance patient-centered care using innovation in technologies and treatments. One of our key objectives is to develop the intelligent anesthesia navigator (IAN), which aims to address the needs of modern anesthesiologists.

Our research

Our research team includes graduate and postgraduate students in electrical and computer engineering and health informatics, as well as a full-time research manager, research engineer and a number of research assistants.

Our experienced researchers are augmented by the resources and facilities to conduct high quality research, including dedicated engineering and clinical research space, a supported clinical research environment, enthusiastic clinicians, state of the art monitoring systems and access to low and high fidelity simulation.

We are affiliated with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Anesthesia and the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology &Therapeutics.

What we do

Advances in technology have resulted in an exponential growth in the amount of physiological data collected in many health care environments including the operating room, the intensive care unit, the ward, and even at home. Improved knowledge (evidence) is the foundation of improved decision making and more data has the potential to significantly improve knowledge. Current monitors collect and display an array of patient physiological data and are configured in an attempt to direct the attention of attending clinicians to relevant changes in patient status. Typically, if the value of a monitored variable strays outside a preset range, an alarm will be triggered. In reality, false and unnecessary alarms are so frequent that they represent a nuisance rather than improvement to monitoring in clinical settings. Despite major advances in sensor technology, the means of advising clinicians of significant events is still underdeveloped.


Intelligent Anestesia Navigator

Improving communication in the operating room with the ECEM tactile belt and iAssist software.

Improved use of the data collected by physiological monitors will require an integrated approach for data reduction and integration. The intervention required to rescue or reduce harm will then require the intervention of a human operator or robust automation. Augmenting the performance of the clinician, by improved communication of information in critical settings, is the primary goal of intelligent monitoring technology. Automation can further improve reliability in an increasingly data-rich environment, as it has in other arenas such as aviation.


Discover more about our research projects

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electrical & Computer Engineering in Medicine (ECEM)
Pediatric Anesthesia Research Team, University of British Columbia
Rm V3-350, 950 West 28th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, CANADA
tel +1 604.875.2000 x6669 | fax: +1 604.875.2668
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