Beaumont Hospital

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Department of Neurophysics

About us

The aim of the Department of Neurophysics 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.   Led by Mary Fitzsimons, the group provides technical and scientific support to the Epilepsy Programme and the Clinical Neurophysiology Department at Beaumont Hospital.  


Contact

Mary Fitzsimons, Principal Physicist, Head of Department
Telephone:  (01) 809 2212
Email:  maryfitzsimons@beaumont.ie


Main areas of activity

Support of electromedical equipment
Support of electromedical equipment in the neuroscience division, principally the clinical neurophysiology department.  This includes provision of equipment management guidance for routine clinical neurophysiology equipment and long-term epilepsy monitoring equipment. 

Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (QMRI).
The Brain Morphometry Laboratory (BML) is a component of the Neurophysics Department.   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 two 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.

Our health informatics projects include a 5 year R&D programme entitled: Revolutionising chronic disease management with information and communication technology: a socio-technical project applied to epilepsy care in Ireland.  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); and 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.

We also won a Health Service Executive innovation award for a teleneurophysiology 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 the 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: the 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