A new technologically advanced, foetal monitoring system will be rolled out across all maternity sites in regional WA – improving patient experience for thousands of expectant mums every year.
In a first for maternity patients in rural and regional WA, the $4.2 million, state-of-the-art K2 Infant Guardian System uses artificial intelligence to support clinical review of foetal heart rate patterns.
The introduction of the innovative K2 monitoring system will deliver considerable benefits to expectant families in regional WA, including:
- improved patient involvement in the management of her and her baby’s care with greater transparency of data;
- real-time, clinical data can be reviewed remotely by treating clinicians;
- greater privacy and fewer intrusions in the birth suite during labour with foetal heart pattern also able to be safely monitored remotely;
- the potential for a more efficient discharge process when it’s time to go home with data being readily available and remotely accessible;
- specialist support can be provided to smaller maternity sites remotely and in real-time.
Bunbury Regional Hospital – regional WA’s biggest and busiest site – will be the first hospital to introduce the new foetal monitoring system, with the rollout continuing to all WA Country Health Service maternity sites across 2021 and 2022.
WA Country Health Service (WACHS) medical, nursing and midwifery staff across regional WA will undergo full training in the system, which does not require a sonographer to operate.
This innovative use of technology to deliver healthy outcomes for regional maternity patients builds upon previous WACHS successes in this space, including the expansion of the highly successful Midwifery Group Practices model of care.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”