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Walgett in world first heart trial

Walgett Wellness Nurse Melissa Nathan checking heart patient Grant Hancock. Photo contributed

The meteoric rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised many industries, with new applications created daily.

Recently AI found its way into the local health sector at Walgett.

Wellness Service Manager at the Walgett Aboriginal Health Service (WAHS), Melissa Nathan, said the organisation has become involved in an AI guided echocardiogram research project with the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Walgett is one of only five current research sites in Australia, investigating the effectiveness of artificial intelligence-based echocardiography to triage and manage patients with known or suspected heart disease in rural and remote areas.

“There’s more than a half a million Aussies out there who have who suffered from heart valve disease, or had faulty heart valves,” Ms Nathan said. “Late intervention leads to poor outcomes, especially in remote areas, with poor to treatment.”

Late diagnosis of these heart conditions can lead to avoidable hospital admissions, poorer quality of life, significant expense to the Australian health system and death.

Aboriginal people and the elderly experience a disproportionate burden of these conditions.

Very few trained sonographers come to remote areas, which is “one of our big gaps” according to Ms Nathan who is also a registered nurse.[…]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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