Heart of Australia was delighted to officially launch their fifth vehicle, HEART 5, at an event held Friday 11 of February at the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane.
Heart of Australia founder, Dr Rolf Gomes, is thrilled to be working in partnership with the Queensland Government and Resources Safety and Health Queensland, which contributed $2 million towards the build and operation of HEART 5.
The aim of this partnership is to increase the accessibility of lung checks for current and former mine workers in rural and remote Queensland. The X-Ray and CT machine in this mobile unit will massively improve detection rates of mine dust lung diseases such as black lung and silicosis, where early detection and screening is critical.
Project partners Philips and I-MED worked to design and build battery technology which can withstand the bumpy Queensland roads to ensure that rural communities can be reached, and have access to the same services that are available in Brisbane.
“The battery technology we have designed and built in Queensland to power the CT scanner means with HEART 5 we can do a CT parked on a mine site, and that is a world first. Through the collaboration of the project partners, the Queensland Government, Philips and I-MED, this technology and innovation has been made possible.
“HEART 5 breaks down the tyranny of distance, so if you do have a lung disease, we can find it early and quickly,” Dr Gomes said.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart was present at the launch event, and has said “This means workers won’t have to travel as far to access highly specialised services, ensuring earlier detection and intervention in cases of mine dust lung diseases like black lung and silicosis.”
“We’re proud to have HEART 5 on the road helping to uphold our high standards for health and safety in the resources sector, and our government will continue to support workers, on and off the job site.” Minister Stewart said.
Dr Gomes said providing rural patients with access to locally delivered medical imaging services will make an enormous difference in improving lives and supporting the work of local GPs.
Since 2014, Heart of Australia’s medical specialists have seen more than 12,000 patients and saved more than 500 lives. The fleet has travelled more than 500,000 kilometres servicing towns from Stanthorpe in the south to Weipa in the far north and Winton in the west.
“With the launch of HEART 5, our CT truck, we will be finding more, treating more, and saving more lives,” Dr Gomes said.