Biomedical science at University of Sydney

Bonus life

By Michelle Wheeler

Using video game technology in healthcare settings is winning points for patients and doctors.

Jinman Kim knows the value of using gaming technology to help improve patients’ lives. “Almost every gaming device or technology that’s driven by the gaming industry can have a huge impact in a clinical setting,” he says.

A computer scientist and biomedical imaging specialist, Jinman is the director of both the Nepean Telehealth Technology Centre at Nepean Hospital and the Visual TeleHealth Lab at the University of Sydney.

“Touchscreens are a fantastic way of navigating complex datasets. We use virtual reality headgear as part of medical training, and augmented reality to view medical image data. In medical imaging, we use the graphics cards that power ultra-fast, realistic graphics for computer games,” says Jinman.

One of the most exciting areas of medical tech is remote healthcare – also known as telehealth. At its simplest, this means video conferencing between doctors and patients, giving patients access to specialists without the need to travel. But telehealth can also involve using apps to help patients record essential medical data, and consultations using remote stethoscopes or even ultrasound.

“Telehealth is much more than just audio-visual these days. It includes mobile technology, mobile apps, sensors, smart homes and wellbeing equipment. We’re also looking at cloud technology and data analytics,” says Jinman. “It’s amazing how technology is shaping the next generation of healthcare. It’s just incredible.”

Biomedical imaging is another fast-changing field. Ashnil Kumar recently completed a PhD with the Biomedical and Multimedia Information Technology Research Group at the University of Sydney. He specialises in PET-CT scan reading techniques that can help doctors make more accurate cancer diagnoses and develop individual treatment plans for patients.

“If you know what previous patients have gone through and a new patient is exhibiting similar symptoms, perhaps they have similar disease characteristics and a similar treatment would work,” says Ashnil.

TO GET THERE: sydney.edu.au
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