• 26-MAR-2013


UCLA Relies on IBM Big Data To Help Patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries

IBM (NYSE: IBM), and Excel Medical Electronics (EME) are collaborating with the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery in a study to test the effectiveness of a real-time alarm intended to predict rising brain pressure in patients with traumatic brain injuries. The experimental system uses big data analytics software developed by IBM Research and EME that analyzes in real-time streams of vital signs continuously collected from the bedside monitor to spot subtle changes in the patient's pulse, blood and intracranial pressure, heart activity, and respiration, signaling that dangerous high-risk increases in brain pressure are on the way.

Today, patients with traumatic brain injuries are under constant surveillance by bedside monitors measuring the patient's vital signs, but nurses are only alerted by the bedside monitor alarm when brain pressure crosses a critical threshold. At that point, an instant decision must be made by the nurse or physician to determine if the alarm is false, if the condition is life-threatening, or if immediate action is needed to prevent brain damage or death.

UCLA's study aims to address these questions. UCLA neurointensives will use real-time analysis from thousands of vitals collected and flowing from patients' bedside monitor inside the intensive care unit at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The technology's goal is to provide advance warning to physicians and nurses of pending changes in the patient's condition, allowing them to take preventive action to keep patients safe from rising brain pressure.