The Artemis Project: Pushing new frontiers in healthcare analytics
November 2, 2016
OSHAWA, ONT. – In summer 2016, we were excited to announce a new $3 million project to develop a market-ready version of Artemis to be used at bedside by clinicians. This will initially be deployed at our new partner hospital Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ont., with support from my long-time research partner IBM Canada.
Dr. Dave Williams, Southlake’s President and CEO, is leading the Health Ecosphere Innovation Pipeline Project (HEIPP), a great initiative to enable Southlake to be a hub for demonstrating health technology innovation. My research at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is part of HEIPP, along with research partners at York University and the University Health Network.
We first deployed Artemis in 2009 as a pilot research study to demonstrate how data collected by medical devices in hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICU) can be harnessed and utilized for new approaches to providing care to fragile premature and newborn infants.
Traditional healthcare involves human beings taking the vital readings of patients intermittently over long intervals. Artemis takes a ‘big data’ approach by applying technology to constantly measure a wide range of vitals. We wanted to show through Artemis that it was technically possible to do this.
Artemis can take 500 electrocardiograms readings a second, along with measures every second for heart rate, respiratory rate, blood-oxygen saturation and blood pressure metrics. With this enhanced data available for each patient, there is great potential to improve clinical practice and outcomes.
Our clinical research study explored what we could see in these very fast patient signals, particularly about infants being impacted by an infection.
Clinically, Artemis was able to see changes in the variability of heart rate to confirm a change in health status. However, because we were able to easily look at other medical information concurrently, we discovered a way to classify different health-status changes based on both the variabilities of heart rate and breathing rate, without any other clinical information.
We have reported on how we can see potentially different health status changes for infants who went on to be diagnosed with infection, compared to those who were receiving certain drugs at the time such as morphine, as both situations can lead to changes in heart rate.
Artemis has supported research students in the NICUs of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario; Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island; and The Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Our initial clinical research has detected patterns for conditions that infants in the NICU can develop, such as:
- Apnoea of prematurity (pauses in breathing due to prematurity)
- Retinopathy of prematurity (eye damage from premature birth)
- Anemia of prematurity (often from blood loss for medical tests)
We have also been able to demonstrate the potential of new approaches to examining the way the brain is developing based on sleep patterns, assessing pain in these infants and assessing the impact of drugs they receive as part of their care.
We have also demonstrated how we can monitor NICU ‘graduates’ after they move home using Artemis Cloud to provide Health Analytics as a Service to people in a non-hospital environment. I have partnerships with Toronto-based AlayaCare to work on new approaches to home-based monitoring funded through a research grant with Ontario Centres of Excellence.
I have been collaborating in research with IFTech Inventing Future Technology Inc., a tech start-up in Durham Region that invented the ARAIG (As Real As It Gets) haptic garment. I have also been collaborating in research endeavours with someone trained in military/police tactical operations teams.
The ARAIG haptic garment allows players to feel what is happening in the game while they play. We believe there is great potential to learn more about the brain’s development during tactical training to potentially help prevent the onset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These findings could eventually be integrated with training for other first responders.
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s Dr. Carolyn McGregor is the Canada Research Chair in Health Informatics and a Professor with the university’s Faculty of Business and Information Technology.