PhD student Matt Glasgow is taking time out of the workforce to complete an economic analysis of neonatal hypoglycaemia for his research project.
Research topic: “An economic analysis of neonatal hyperglycaemia”
Supervisor: Distinguished Professor Jane Harding
Matt is working with the LiFePATH group to complete an economic analysis of neonatal hypoglycaemia. It’s an extension of the work that’s already been done on this subject, including the ongoing hPOD study into the use of a dextrose gel to prevent low blood sugars in newborn babies.
How we manage neonatal hypoglycaemia is an ideal subject for Matt’s investigation because there’s still a significant gap in our understanding of the long-term outcomes. In the case of the dextrose gel, it’s not just about the immediate cost saving of keeping babies out of special care units, but also the cost of long-term care that may be required for infants affected by low blood sugars. Matt’s research will help to fill in some of the blanks in our knowledge of the condition by demonstrating and modelling outcomes.
We already know that the dextrose gel works, but to change clinical practice across the board we need to understand the full economic picture to justify changes to guidelines at national and international level. Part of Matt’s research will ultimately be to look at the cost of implementing the changes themselves.
Matt grew up in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but has been in Auckland since he started Medical School at the University of Auckland in 1989. After graduating in 1995 he practiced as a junior doctor in public hospitals before undertaking a Diploma in Sports Medicine in 1997 and going on to practice in this field too.
It was around this time that Matt started working in health informatics, but his qualifications came later. In 2006 he achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Business, Health Informatics, and in 2011 he graduated with first class honours from a Master of Health Management, both from the University of Auckland. Matt specialises in designing and maintaining clinical decision support system that provide recommendations for doctors and clinicians to use at the point of care.
Why he chose the Liggins Institute
Matt always knew he wanted to do a PhD and as a premature baby himself, he’s always been interested in the work at Liggins. However it wasn’t until he spoke to his now supervisor, Distinguished Professor Jane Harding that he decided exactly what to focus on.
Matt’s Health Informatics background has given him lots of exposure to the systems modelling and the economic literature that relates to it. It’s this that piqued his interest into how small changes can affect efficiency and simultaneously both improve outcomes and lead to cost savings in practice.
While Matt was able to complete his Masters degree part-time, he believes there’s a huge advantage to doing a PhD full-time. For him this has only been possible thanks to a scholarship from the Boyd Clarke Foundation. Knowing that he has funding for the next three years gives Matt the opportunity to focus entirely on his research without interruption.