Theme 1: Diagnostics and Therapeutics
The future of affordable, accessible healthcare depends on improved, personalised care, for which diagnostics and therapeutics are the core. New measurement methods, coupled with physiological modelling, are vital in reducing the costs of medical care and developing personalised diagnostics and treatments.
Research and technology need:
Diagnosis and treatment will need improved or novel physiological sensors and measurement methods, integrating emerging electronic medical and data management systems with innovative treatments.
New Zealand’s role:
Our researchers are world leading in sensor development, measurements and physiological modelling both at the organ and systems physiology level. A research focus is in personalised diagnoses and treatments targeted to individuals rather than the current “one-size fits-all” approach. This will be achieved by linking detailed Physiome/ Virtual Physiological Human models of individual organs and systems-level models for specific clinical applications to biological measurements. An example of current work is model-based diagnostics and therapeutics in pulmonary medicine, and model-driven management of cardiac dysfunction, which calls on local clinical expertise and the associated technical skills of the CMDT researchers in the fields of medical imaging, innovative device design, bioengineering software development, and sensing and remote monitoring. Two emerging initiatives in New Zealand are in tissue and ophthalmic diagnostics and therapeutics which have resulted in new clinical technologies for tissue elasticity measurements and blood perfusion flow. Other expertise related to this research theme is in high frequency (> 50MHz) ultrasound transducer design, manufacture and system integration; microfluidic chip design and fabrication for point of care diagnostics; optoelectronics and optical imaging.
We are well linked internationally with collaborations in the UK, European Union, Canada and the US. As an example, our researchers have a track record of leadership in US National Institute of Health and National Science Funding sponsored projects in pulmonary and cardiac modelling with the Universities of Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Wisconsin, McGill and the University California, San Diego. New Zealand researchers are part of international programmes including the Virtual Physiological Human Network of Excellence, euHeart, and Airway Disease Predicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modelling (AirPROM) teams.
New Zealand companies:
Within New Zealand, our research teams work with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Orion Health, Ossis, Telemetry Research, Millar and Spark Dental as well as emerging companies such as EyeWitness, MoleMap, Physiome Sciences and LifeFX. Other key companies in this sector are MoleMap and ARANZ Healthcare.
Internationally, we have developed clinical applications in diagnostics and surgical planning with Siemens (MRI) and the Cleveland Clinic (ultrasound), and worked with Berlin Heart on left ventricular assist devices.