News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


UC research finding ways to reduce NZ critical illness costs

UC research finding ways to reduce New Zealand’s critical illness costs

March 25, 2014

Healthcare costs are growing faster than society’s ability to afford them but University of Canterbury (UC) research is finding ways to reduce this economic burden through model-based therapies for critical illness.

In the UC Centre for Biomedical Engineering, researchers are finding ways to reduce growing health costs by engineering therapies for critical illness.

UC’s latest Rhodes Scholar and engineering postgraduate student Hamish Tomlinson has been looking at new systems to solve problems. He says engineering offers a wide range of ways to help healthcare and make it more effective.

"You only need to look around any doctor’s office or surgery to see all the technology that doctors use to realise that, if we can improve the technology or make it more useful, we can significantly impact the cost and quality of care.

"For my honours project, supervised by Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase, I was part of a team designing a computer model-based system to provide insulin to patients in less acute wards of the hospital. Often the patients need insulin but the nursing needed to tightly control and monitor the patient.

"As a result, the high blood glucose levels that occur can hinder a patient’s recovery or even lead to a worsening of condition. This outcome isn’t frequent but adds time and cost to that patient’s care.

"We are looking for ways to advance care that improves outcomes and decreases costs in some fashion, through an engineered means of attacking this problem.

"After graduation next month, I am going to Oxford University for my Doctor of Philosophy and will be part of their physiological understanding through modelling, monitoring and analysis group, which is a research team dedicated to this sort of engineering and problem solving.

"I think my degree at UC and the project I was part of in mechanical engineering gave a significant boost to my ability to pursue this type of research and study at the highest level.

"The project exposed me to many important aspects of biomedical engineering, including foundations in physiology and engineering science, opportunities for original research, and clinical experience guided by Dr Geoffrey Shaw in the Christchurch Hospital intensive care unit," Tomlinson says.

Tomlinson, from Invercargill, is the fourth UC student in four years to win the coveted Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


New Zealand Geographic: Photographer Of The Year Announced

Shaun Jeffers, has won the Landscape category at the New Zealand Geographic, Photographer of the Year awards for his stunning shot of the glowworms at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves! More>>


Howard Davis: Review - 'I, Daniel Blake' - Ken Loach's Bleak Masterpiece

'I, Daniel Blake' is a bleak masterpiece, a chilling and moving story of two people striking up an unlikely friendship under extremely adverse circumstances. It is both a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers, and a celebration of the decency and compassion of ordinary people who look out for one another when the state has abandoned them. More>>

Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news