A world-leading innovation with a Pilbara focus

In the important area of health, we have partnered with the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation to fund an innovative program called Pilbara Faces which uses 3D facial imaging technology to aid in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of rare diseases in Aboriginal children.

Pilbara Faces is led by clinical geneticist, Dr Gareth Baynam and the Genetic Services teams at King Edward Memorial and Princess Margaret Hospitals in Perth.

Dr Baynam and his powerful team of doctors are tackling severe, complex, undiagnosed diseases and providing a beacon of hope for families desperately searching for answers.

Pilbara Faces is at the forefront of 3D facial analysis globally. For the first time, this health service is being made available in regional Australia.

In the short-term it may reduce the need for Pilbara families to travel from their remote communities to a regional hospital or Perth for diagnosis and treatment.

The technology enables a quicker and cheaper diagnosis in a far less invasive way. The test and analysis only takes 20 minutes and gives insights into long-standing, complex, multi-system disorders which were previously undiagnosed.

Each stage of the three year project is enabled through the network of relationships of the Roy Hill Community Foundation, the partnerships of the Facial Analysis Team and with Aboriginal community engagement.

Pilbara Faces Project Leader, Dr Gareth Baynam said: “Our face is a biological billboard that advertises our physical and mental wellness, our ageing and our disease. Approximately one third of genetic and rare diseases are thought to have subtle facial clues, so harnessing these through 3D facial analysis will provide a new way to improve diagnosis and treatment.”

Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Denys Pearce said: “Through this project, the Pilbara region has the opportunity to collectively advance medical innovation to support new solutions for patient care. The program utilises innovative imaging technology to improve health outcomes for children in the Pilbara and will help to address a gap in medical and community health services.”