Ingham Institute Leading Remote Robotics for Stroke Treatment

Research coincides with National Stroke Week

Located in south west Sydney, the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research is pioneering remote robotic technologies to help detect and treat life-threatening conditions. Through its newly formed centre for Robotics and Health Technology, the Ingham Institute is at the forefront of utilising technologies such as 5G connectivity to enable medical treatment and monitoring that has the power to transform health outcomes.

In an Australian first, and to coincide with National Stroke Week, the research centre is assessing the remote blood clot retrieval robot (Corindus), the impact of which may significantly improve stroke survival and recovery rates across Australia.

Stroke is one of our biggest killers and the leading cause of disability, with one stroke happening every nine minutes. For many stroke patients, there are two major factors that affect survival and avoiding long-term brain damage: ensuring complete removal of the blood clot, and the speed of getting a patient into the operating theatre.

For patients living in rural and regional areas or who miss the early warning signs of stroke, both of these factors can be critically compromised. This new robot – using 5G connectivity – will deliver remote endovascular treatment for stroke patients from the Liverpool base to anywhere in Australia and beyond, more quickly and effectively than current procedures.

Director of the Ingham Institute, Professor Les Bokey, says the Institute’s research into robotic assisted intervention is potentially ground-breaking for patients and will have a major impact on patient survival and recovery.

“This is the game-changer we’ve been working towards. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to better health outcomes. Only 30% of stroke patients receive treatment in the first 60 minutes of arriving in hospital . Earlier treatment with advanced technology, including remote capabilities, can prevent stroke-related disability in Australia for years to come,” he says.

CEO of the Ingham Institute, Darryl Harkness, says that this is a significant leap towards better health outcomes for not only those in the local South West Sydney community, but particularly for those living in regional and remote Australia.

“The Ingham Institute is leading the research in robotic technologies, along with the 500+ other clinical trials for over 2,500 patients here in south west Sydney. We are partnering with global leaders – such as J&J, GE and with the Corindus clot retrieval robot – equally dedicated to a shared vision of better health outcomes for all – no matter where you live. At the core of everything we do, we are committed to finding real solutions to problems that impact our communities – from Sydney’s South West to the world. In an increasingly connected world and the high speed, all-access opportunities that 5G provides, the future for remote healthcare is particularly exciting,” he says.

Optus Business Vice President of Product Innovation, Deon Liebenberg, says “5G offers a paradigm shift in the way healthcare will be delivered in the future. Imagine a future with the connected Internet of Medical Things, and the power of advanced robotics for surgery such as clot retrieval in stroke patients. We look forward to working closely with the Ingham Institute in exploring innovative solutions to improve patient outcomes – now and into the future. This is made possible through the power of the Optus 5G network,” he says.

Stroke statistics in Australia:
– Australians experience 56,000 strokes every year
– Indigenous Australians are twice as likely to be hospitalised and 1.4 times more likely to die from stroke
– Stroke incidence is 20% higher in regional areas
– Stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer
– 475,000 Australians are living with the effects of stroke
– Around 25 percent of stroke survivors are of working age
– The burden of disease of stroke in 2012 was $50 billion

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