K2 Medical Systems, a medical device manufacturer based in the UK, will provide regional Western Australian hospitals with a new advanced foetal monitoring system, called the K2 Infant Guardian System.
The $4.2 million K2 Infant Guardian System will aim to improve patient experience for maternity patients, using artificial intelligence to support the clinical review of foetal heart rate patterns in real-time.
“Bringing a new baby into the world should be a special time for expectant families and this technology puts the patient experience at the forefront of clinical care,” Western Australia health minister Roger Cook said.
“This revolutionary system ensures the mother is included in the review and decision-making process throughout her pregnancy and birthing journey, which we know plays a big part in improving foetal wellbeing.”
The new system will introduce other benefits to regional Western Australia, such as:
- Improved patient involvement in managing care, through greater data transparency
- Real-time, clinical data can be remotely reviewed by treating clinicians
- More privacy and fewer intrusions during labour, with the foetal heart pattern able to be safely viewed remotely
- A more efficient discharge process, with more readily available and accessible data
- Specialist support can be provided to smaller maternity sites, remotely and in real-time.
The first hospital due to receive the K2 Infant Guardian System is Bunbury Regional Hospital, the biggest and busiest site in regional Western Australia. The rollout will continue across all WA Country Health Service maternity sites in 2021 and 2022.
“Providing this type of digital support for clinical decision-making is critical in achieving our goal of providing high value, innovative healthcare to all Western Australians,” Cook said.
“At a time where many country maternity services around Australia were closed, in 2019-20, the WA Country Health Service supported more than 4,100 families across 2.55 million square kilometres to safely birth close to their home and support networks.
“This fantastic piece of technology is another important step in reducing disparity between metropolitan and rural and remote maternal and newborn health outcomes,” he said.
WA Country Health Service medical, nursing and midwifery staff in the region will undergo full training in the system, which does not require a sonographer to operate.
The K2 Infant Guardian System technology will deliver healthy outcomes for regional maternity patients, building on previous WA Country Health Service successes in this space. This includes the expansion of the highly successful Midwifery Group Practices model of care.