news
Published: 17 August 2016

Could maths solve sepsis?

A presentation by Professor Philip Aston at the British Science Festival in September will explore whether mathematical modelling can be used in the early diagnosis of serious diseases such as sepsis.

Over 44,000 people die in the UK after contracting sepsis (blood poisoning) every year and detection is often too late for successful treatment. Research led by Professor Aston of Surrey’s Department of Mathematics, however, may point to a solution: it demonstrates that diagnosing patients by analysing a blood pressure signal using a novel mathematical method could be the key to early diagnosis.

"With sepsis resulting in more deaths in the UK every year than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined, the use of readily available physiological data to detect sepsis early has the potential to bring real impact.” - Professor Aston

Professor Aston, with his collaborator Dr Manasi Nandi (Kings College London), will give their presentation, ‘Can maths solve sepsis?’ on 8 September at the British Science Festival 2016, which this year takes place at Swansea University. As part of the Festival’s health section, he will present the findings of his research, which has involved the development of code for analysing blood pressure signals to see if it can robustly predict the early development of sepsis.

The interactive presentation will include a demonstration of a fingertip monitor on members of the audience to collect signals which are then turned into a ‘cardiomorph’ – a visualisation of how the heart is functioning.

Professor Aston says, “This visualisation, which I describe as a ‘selfie’ of your heart, gives us important information. The next step we are researching is how we can use this data to get diagnostic information. With sepsis resulting in more deaths in the UK every year than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined, the use of readily available physiological data to detect sepsis early has the potential to bring real impact.”

Held annually, the British Science Festival aims to engage people with science, bringing tens of thousands together to celebrate the latest developments in science and discuss issues that affect our culture and society. The British Science Festival 2016 will take place from 6 to 9 September at Swansea University.

Discover our programmes in mathematics.

 

Share what you've read?