• Closed Loop Control in Anesthesia

    Contact PersonClosed Loop Control in Anesthesia
    Computer controlled, or automatic, drug delivery is the process of administering a therapeutic regime to a patient with computer assistance for calculation of optimal dose and delivery schedules. Computer control can improve drug therapy by reducing drug usage and costs, by permitting health care staff to work more efficiently and to provide better standard of care, by allowing the safe use of drugs that are difficult to administer, and by compensation for human failings with computer strengths, such as unlimited attention span and patience, and capacity for quick, accurate and redundant calculation. Our goal is to develop an automatic control system for anesthesia and to demonstrate its efficacy, safety and benefits in an operating room. Although closed-loop anesthesia has previously been proposed and tested, it has yet to have a significant impact on clinical practice. Recent developments in sensing for anesthesia have opened new possibilities for ‘closing the loop’. Our research will focus on the deployment of new sensors optimized for controlled drug delivery, robust control methodology and extensive clinical validation. In addition, through advanced control techniques, we aim to provide a mathematical guarantee of the safety of patients under anesthesia.
  • Safe Sedation

    Contact PersonSafe Sedation
    Children are increasingly given sedation to facilitate non-painful or minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The intravenous anesthetic agent propofol, which has rapidly titratable and predictable sedative characteristics, has gained popularity for sedation procedures in a number of settings. While propofol has many advantages, rapid administration of a loading dose causes significant respiratory depression by impairment of the chemoreceptor response to carbon dioxide (CO2). Respiratory depression may lead to hypoxemia and the need to provide manual positive pressure ventilation. However, if propofol is administered less rapidly, spontaneous ventilation is maintained as the accumulation of CO2 in the blood from ongoing metabolic processes continues to stimulate the chemoreceptors despite their impaired sensitivity. We are proposing to identify a clinical dosing schedule for the administration of propofol in children that will ensure rapid onset of sedation while maintaining spontaneous ventilation.
  • Circadian Rhythms

    Development of Ambulatory Tools for the Assessment of Human Circadian Rhythms

    Contact PersonCircadian Rhythms
    In industrialized countries, it is estimated that nearly 30% of workers are affected by work on irregular schedules. This type of working environment increases fatigue which raises the risk of severe accidents and has important societal and economic implications. Circadian rhythms have significant health impacts on fatigue and safety in workplaces, and are increasingly being incorporated in medical therapies. Developing suitable technologies to investigate and counteract these risks is fundamental to achieving the parallel objectives of workers health, public safety, and increased productivity. The ultimate goal of this collaboration with D. Boivin at McGill’s Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms is to promote access to multidisciplinary expertise to address central issues related to monitoring and modeling of human circadian physiology.
  • PhoneOximeter

    Pulse oximetery on a cell phone

    Contact PersonPhoneOximeter
    In poorer parts of the world, most preventable anesthesia morbidity and mortality is related to airway and respiratory problems leading to lack of oxygen (hypoxia). A pulse oximeter gives an early warning of hypoxia by monitoring the percentage of hemoglobin in the blood that is oxygenated. An early, rapid and effective response to early signs of hypoxia, detected and displayed by a pulse oximeter, can rescue the patient from the permanent effects of lack of oxygen, such as brain damage or death.
    In this project, we propose to develop and evaluate a wireless pulse oximeter that uses a cell phone to analyze the information received from a sensor placed on the finger. The inherent capabilities of a standard cell phone (which are widely available in underdeveloped areas) will be used to intelligently analyze and creatively communicate information from the sensor. The primary goal of this project is to demonstrate the potential for enhanced delivery of information from a pulse oximeter to enhance the safety of anesthesia care throughout the world.
    See: World Health Organization Global Pulse Oximetry Project

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
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