Researchers in the North West are investigating whether tools pioneered in aviation security can be used to help prevent complications after surgery.
A team from the Academic Surgery Unit at University Hospital of South Manchester lead by Professor Charles McCollum are collaborating with Lancaster University to develop new technology for healthcare based on an aviation security system designed to give pilots maximum information about the health of their aircraft and advance warning of problems.
Lancaster University Aviation Security expert Professor Garik Makarian is drawing on his years of experience to develop a real-time patient monitoring and risk prediction system, similar to those used by pilots to monitor the safety of their aircraft.
Professor Garik Makarian said: "There are a lot of parallels between flying an aircraft and observing a critically ill patient. Both the surgeon and the pilot are dealing with a lot of information coming from a variety of sensors. They both need to know not only what is happening now but what might happen in the future and safety is absolutely critical.
"During a flight a pilot has to make decisions based on complex information coming from up to 1,000 sensors in the plane. He or she needs to know, not only what is happening to the aircraft right at this moment, but what is likely to happen in the future.
"When a patient is critically ill or recovering from surgery, doctors monitor the patient's blood pressure, temperature, pulse and other vital signs very closely but have to rely on their experience to predict what is likely to happen next. Pilots have the additional benefit of tools to help them do that. This new tool has the potential to give doctors an extra layer of intelligence to draw upon."