Statistical modelling to support clinical decision making for critically ill COVID-19 patients

Wed, 19/08/2020 - 11:00

During the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three patients hospitalised with the virus require critical care. Ensuring patients receive the best care and treatments, best suited to their individual needs, is vital when it comes to critical care. 

So how do critical care specialists make the complex decisions about which treatment works best for each individual patient – particularly when it comes to the use of respiratory and life support? 

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher, Dr Nicole White, is developing sophisticated statistical models to assist clinicians with these decisions to improve patient outcomes and optimise the use of healthcare resources.

We caught up with Nicole to discuss how her Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship will help her on her research journey.  

Could you tell us about your research?

Many patients with confirmed COVID-19 become critically ill and require admission to intensive care for treatment. In the absence of effective drug therapies, clinicians are being faced with complex decisions about how to best manage their patients. 

My research will apply statistical modelling to improve our understanding about the prognosis and treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients, to provide clinicians with much needed decision support for improving patient outcomes. 

Modelling will use data from the COVID-19 Critical Care Consortium, an international study being led by the Critical Care Research group from the University of Queensland and The Prince Charles Hospital. 

How will the funding from Advance Queensland support you on your research journey?

I am passionate about improving the delivery of health services through the application of statistics to generate data-driven insights. Funding from Advance Queensland will provide me with the opportunity to work alongside world-leading clinicians and researchers to make the best use of data. Data that will improve our knowledge about the management of COVID-19 and provide actionable insights for health services.

How will your research benefit and assist Queenslanders?

The unprecedented scale of COVID-19 and its impact on health systems worldwide has highlighted the need for data-driven tools to inform patient management within available resources. 

Outcomes from my research will equip hospitals with the necessary tools to make informed decisions that will benefit critically ill Queenslanders with COVID-19, helping Queensland hospitals make greatest use of their ICU beds. 

Insights generated from this research may also contribute to our preparedness for similar scale events in the future that challenge demand for intensive care resources.

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the Industry Research Fellowships program?

This fellowship offers me a unique opportunity to undertake targeted research that will contribute to the ongoing pandemic response. By collaborating closely with industry experts, being a part of this program also means that my research will be guided by clinical priorities to ensure that outcomes are relevant for decision making.

Last updated 19 Aug, 2020
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