The PREVENT study is a multi-centric study focused on reducing neonatal encephalopathy and is funded by the NIHR, UK, being conducted in 3 sites (Calicut, Bangalore and Hubli) in South India. As a part of this study, neonates with encephalopathy or seizures within 72 hours of birth are subjected to continuous video EEG monitoring. Two of the most challenging aspects of conducting trials involving neurodiagnostics in the Low- and middle-income countries(LMIC) include the lack of expertise locally in the interpretation and acquisition of neurodiagnostic techniques such as the EEG and robust data security and storage solutions. Protecting Brains and Saving Futures (PBSF), with its advanced telemedicine system helps provide prompt diagnosis and helps make clinical decisions thereby enhancing the quality of neurocritical care as well as high quality research data acquisition. In the PREVENT study, expert neurophysiologists from London(UK) can access the EEG real time and give feedback to the clinical team through the research fellows posted at each site. The local equipment is linked to a central server and the data sent is fully encrypted, protecting the privacy of transmitted information. With support of a highly committed team at PBSF, any technical challenges with regards to uploading or viewing EEGs are solved without any delay. Telemedicine implemented by organizations such as the PBSF is the future when it comes to research and neurodiagnostics in difficult regions.
Vaisakh Krishnan, MBBS, MD, DNB (Paediatrics) | PhD Student , Centre of Perinatal Neuroscience, Imperial College, London And Neonatal Neurology Clinical research fellow, Institute of Maternal and child health, Government medical college, ozhikode.
Sudhin Thayyil MD, DCH, FRCPCH, PhD
Professor of Perinatal Neuroscience, Imperial College London Chief Investigator of the PREVENT Study.
I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Gabriel Variane after meeting him at the International Brain Monitoring Conference in Cork, Ireland in 2016. In late 2016 we established a joint collaboration between the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Group Santa Joana’s Centers in Brazil. This collaboration included webinars and ongoing discussion and knowledge sharing regarding neonatal critical care. We had the pleasure of having Dr. Variane and his colleagues visit us and attend some conferences we hosted at Stanford University. Dr. Variane has distinguished himself by creating an ambitious project of remote neuromonitoring in 30 hospitals in Brazil known as Protecting Brains Saving Futures (PBSF). He and his colleagues have monitored over 4,500 babies and impacted the health and outcomes for these newborns throughout Brazil. I have had the pleasure of visiting PBSF offices in Sao Paolo several times to see first-hand their work and accomplishments. I am amazed by what they have accomplished to-date and I look forward to their future endeavors and how they will impact the neurologic care and outcomes of babies. I have also co-authored several manuscripts and am involved in several research endeavors with Dr. Variane and his PBSF colleagues. I strongly believe that Dr. Variane and PBSF will have broad impact on neonatal neurocritical care in the years to come.
Krisa van Meurs, MD
Rosemarie Hess Professor of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
Associate Chief Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine
Medical Director, NeuroNICU, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Palo Alto, California 94304
As caregivers and founders of Fightthestroke Foundation, advocating for children with Cerebral Palsy, we’re honored to mention PBSF among our trusted partners: their commitment on the savvy usage of technology for building up a consistent knowledge base for researchers resonates a lot with our mission. We believe that together we can change the course of the life for many newborns and their families.
Roberto D’Angelo and Francesca Fedeli
Co-founders of Fightthestroke Foundation.
We have been excited to collaborate with PBSF on several research and educational projects in the past few years. The US-Brazil Newborn Brain Care Initiative is a project funded by the Stanford Office of International Affairs and is a collaboration between the Stanford NeuroNICU and PBSF. Through this initiative, a Brazilian brain registry has been developed to collect critical information on babies cooled for HIE to examine practice variations and help to improve patient outcomes. Implementation of educational modules through a shared learning platform will also be an important component of this initiative.
We have also collaborated with PBSF to create the Multimodal Neuromonitoring Workshop at the 2021 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in which several neuromonitoring case studies from PBSF will be highlighted. We have published several neuromonitoring articles together and have ongoing research examining near-infrared spectroscopy sensors in the newborn. Only with the infrastructure from PBSF in place were we able to accomplish these goals. PBSF has positively impacted the care of many babies with amazing potential for continued growth.
PBSF - Protecting Brains and Saving Futures - is a leader and innovator in neonatal care and tele-health. Through their program they have been able to fulfill their mission on a daily basis. By using tele-health technology they provide life-saving consultations to other neonatal care providers in order to offer evidence-based neuro-protective care that truly has an impact on the short and long-term outcomes of newborns with brain injury. I continue to be impressed by the ongoing efforts by the entire PBSF to provide services and education to others around the globe. Personally, I am honored to be a part of their network, to collaborate on education efforts, and share their work and mission with our online community of more than 5,000 NICU professionals. I look forward to what the PBSF team and organization will do, and I know the whole world is watching too. PBSF inspires us all to do more, with less, to be innovative, to be persistent and to do whatever it takes to help protect baby brains and give them the greatest opportunity for a whole and healthy life. I wish the team the very best in their next ventures.
Birth asphyxia remains a major challenge in resource-limited countries. Protecting Brains & Saving Futures is an important initiative using innovation and technology to overcome barriers and challenges. As the chair of the Newborn Brain Society education committee, I had the pleasure to collaborate with Dr. Gabriel Variane on several important activities endorsed by the newborn Brain Society such as the NeoBrain conference in 2019 which discussed the challenges in diagnosing, monitoring, and treating infants with birth asphyxia in Brazil with international speakers and more than 900 attendees from across the country. The mission of the organization is to decrease the incidence of birth asphyxia and improve management through education, empowerment of local healthcare providers and families, and utilizing local resources. Another important initiative was a National Awareness Campaign on Birth Asphyxia – to endorse the importance of awareness of risks, prevention, and treatment of perinatal asphyxia. This Campaign was supported and endorsed by key organizations across Brazil such as the Association for Assistance to Disabled Children, Jô Clemente Institute, Brazilian Academy of Pediatrics, Brazilian Society of Child Neurology, Brazilian Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Associations, Brazilian Association of Physical Medicine, and Rehabilitation, Brazilian Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery, large communities of health professionals, in addition to several Brazilian hospitals. Furthermore, this project received support from the Ministry of Health in Brazil. Dr. Variane presented his vision and work at several international conferences including Newborn Brain society's weekly webinars. Dr. Variane and his team are closing the gap between high, middle, and low-income countries through networking, collaboration, and innovation.
It’s been a great pleasure to know the work and collaborate with PBSF team in Brazil. With a focus on using technology to reduce the chances of neurological impairment in babies, the company has already assisted thousands of babies in Brazil and India.
Being able to use Artificial Intelligence is an important step to the PBSF project since it may allow faster and more assertive diagnoses of brain injury in babies. Our team at Microsoft collaborates with the creation of an automated seizure detection algorithm using Azure Cognitive Services - Anomaly Detector service, which will allow faster and simultaneous screening of multiple infants in this high-risk population. As a next step, Anomaly Detector’s multivariate feature can be applied to predict outcomes of patients by learning and creating an automated scores that correlate multiple parameters centralized on the online system.”