Beaumont Hospital

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Neurophysics Research

The objective of the research work of the Neurophysics Group at Beaumont Hospital is to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of services through optimisation of electro-medical, imaging and information and communication technology for the benefit of patients.  The group’s main areas of research activity are Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (QMRI) in the Brain Morphometry Laboratory (BML) and Health Informatics.


Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (QMRI) in the Brain Morphometry Laboratory (BML)

The BML works to develop and apply QMRI analysis techniques to assess the structure of the brain in-vivo.  These techniques are applied in studies correlating brain structure – regional and global volumes, surface areas, gyrification with brain function (e.g.  to identify structural abnormalities that may elucidate the pathogenesis of neurological conditions such as epilepsy). 

Our QMRI is used by neurologists and neurosurgeons to assist clinical and surgical decision making.  In addition we are engaged in research projects which include analysis of the gyrification of the human cerebral cortex, the establishment of brain morphometry endophenotypes for application in gene association studies in epilepsy.  (These studies are the subject of three PhDs.)

Our QMRI research is funded by:
  • The Health Research Board
  • The Royal college of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Science Foundation Ireland
Personnel at the Brain Morphomentry Laboratory
  • Dr Lisa Ronan – Recently completed her PhD (2008)
  • Ms Cathy Scanlon – PhD Scholar – Due to complete in Spring 2009
  • Dr Saud Alhusaini – PhD Scholar


Health Informatics

Driven by the recognition of the importance of the availability of reliable and comprehensive information when and where it is needed for high quality healthcare delivery, we are engaged in Health Informatics Research and Development.  Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has the potential to enable significant enhancements in healthcare delivery.  However, realising this potential requires careful attention to socio-technical challenges.

Revolutionising chronic disease management with information and communication technology: a socio-technical project applied to epilepsy care in Ireland

Our health informatics projects includes this 5 year Research and Development Programme.  This project is multi-faceted and includes a comprehensive study of the structure and process of epilepsy care in Ireland, the design, development and implementation of an electronic patient record (EPR); an assessment of the inter-relatedness of human, organisational and technical factors associated with EPR implementation.  This health informatics work is funded by the Health Research Board.

Teleneurophysiology Project

We won a Health Service Executive innovation award for this project.  Using a telemedicine model we established the infrastructure to support a satellite EEG service at Sligo General Hospital.  The Sligo service was a satellite of the clinical neurophysiology department at Beaumont Hospital.  The project illustrated that teleneurophysiology can result in better and quicker access to clinical neurophysiology services, is cost effective and wins the satisfaction of clinicians and patients.  This project was funded by the HSE.

Our health informatics work is being carried out in collaboration with Beaumont Hospital IT department; Professor Charles Normand, Department of Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin and Professor Jane Grimson, Centre for Health Informatics, Trinity College Dublin & HIQA

Personnel working in health informatics

  • Mr Jarlath Varley –  Evaluation researcher and PhD Scholar
  • Ms Patricia Breen –  Project Manager
  • Ms Louise McQuaid – Business Analyst/Requirements Engineer and PhD Scholar


Contact

Mary Fitzsimons
Principal Physicist
Tel 8092212
e-mail: maryfitzsimons@beaumont.ie