MAIC visits the ICU of the Future

MAIC team at the ICU of the Future

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Future is a world-first project revolutionising critical care for patients and their families.

Five years in the making, the initiative results from consultation with patients, clinicians and industry partners to design an ICU environment that optimises patient wellbeing and recovery.

It’s a collaboration between Metro North Health, the Critical Care Research Group, The Common Good and Queensland Health with financial support from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) and the Queensland Technology Future Fund.

Intensive care units can be challenging for patients and staff, with noise pollution caused by frequent alarms emitted day and night, a lack of natural light, and social isolation experienced by patients.

These factors can cause a phenomenon called ‘ICU Delirium’ which can have long-lasting impacts. Patients who experience delirium in hospital have a mortality rate three times higher than average in the six months after their hospital stay. Their risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is as high as a war veteran’s.

The world-first ICU of the Future features lighting that mimics natural light to help maintain the body’s natural circadian rhythm. It uses technologies to reduce the amount of noise experienced by the patient so they can experience better rest. It also improves the way that patients connect with their family members and the outside world.

Matthew Waugh, Manager of Research and Grants at MAIC, recently had the privilege of visiting the ICU of the Future at the Prince Charles Hospital.

“At the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, we’re proud to support initiatives like this to improve the recovery of people injured in motor vehicle crashes on Queensland roads,” he explained.

“With road trauma one of the leading causes for patient admittance into ICUs, it was incredible to see the design logic that has been applied to develop this new ICU environment that places patient wellbeing at its core.  We look forward to the data collection stage of this project in which the impacts for patients, their families and staff will be captured and analysed,” said Mr Waugh.

Learn more about the ICU of the Future or discover more research initiatives we support.

Last modified 21 February 2023


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