A world-first delivering lung checks to regional miners

    Mobile healthcare company Heart of Australia, in partnership with the Queensland Government, has officially launched a first-of-its-kind mobile medical imaging clinic called HEART 5 that will provide increased accessibility to lung checks to current and former mine and quarry workers in rural and remote Queensland.

    The fifth truck in the Heart of Australia fleet, HEART 5, a 26 metre-long custom-built B-Double road train, includes a world-first battery powered CT scanner and X-ray equipment to assist in the screening and early detection of common mine dust lung diseases, such as black lung and silicosis, from which miners can suffer after long years spent underground.

    Adoni Media is a long-standing PR partner of Heart of Australia and proudly supported the launch with stories of the new HEART 5 mobile imaging clinic featuring in news bulletins across Queensland thanks to our strong network of media relationships.

    Heart of Australia - World-first Delivering Lung Checks to Regional Miners


    Heart of Australia founder, Dr Rolf Gomes, said he’s thrilled to be working in partnership with the Queensland Government and Resources Safety and Health Queensland, which contributed $2 million in additional funding towards the build and operation of HEART 5.

    This state of the art mobile medical imaging clinic will improve accessibility to respiratory health examinations for current and former mine and quarry workers as well as their broader communities across Queensland’s many rural and remote areas.

    “The battery technology we have designed and built in Queensland to power the CT scanner means, with HEART 5, we can do a CT scan while we’re 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 said HEART 5 is a revolutionary piece of technology that will bring high quality respiratory health screenings to mine and quarry workers in regional and remote parts of the state.

    “We’re proud to have HEART 5 on the road helping to uphold our high standards for health and safety in the Queensland 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 support the work of local GPs.

    “Heart of Australia is pioneering the delivery of radiology services in regional Queensland. For retired miners as well as those living in rural and remote communities, this means easier access to testing and screening which will improve patient health outcomes.”


    The battery-powered CT scanner was designed by Philips, with some modifications to their technology to enable the scanner to withstand the vibrations of Queensland’s roads.

    Andreas Roost, Philip’s Sales Manager Qld & NT, said the way the system is mounted is quite different to how it would potentially be in a fixed environment.

    “Being able to put it (the CT scanner) into a mobile environment and take it to the patient, rather than the other way around, I think, is huge,” he said.


    I-MED Radiology Network is the radiology partner for Heart of Australia, providing the radiographer inside the truck, taking care of the data transfer, and the reporting of the radiologist.

    I-MED Cardiothoracic Radiology Lead, Dr Catherine Jones, said it’s important for people living in rural and remote areas to have the same improved health opportunities that everyone else does.

    HEART 5 has begun visiting Queensland mine sites with some patients already diagnosed with early stages of dust-related pneumoconiosis and possibly lung cancer.

    “It’s a sign of things to come because, on the small number of people we’ve already been able to screen, we’ve had promising results and we know this is going to be replicated over the years to come,” Dr Jones said.


    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 as disparate as Stanthorpe in the south to Weipa in the far north and Winton in the west.

    “With the launch of HEART 5, our mobile CT imaging truck, we will be finding more, treating more, and saving more lives,” Dr Gomes said.

    On top of HEART 5’s project partners, the Queensland Government through Resources Safety and Health Queensland, Philips and I-MED, HEART 5 also has the support of Foundation Partner Arrow Energy, as well as Anglo American, IOR, PACCAR Australia, Toyota, QML, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, Telstra, Bayer, Bridgestone, Rex Airlines, Brown & Hurley, Janssen, Frasers, Abbot, NTI, and Medtronic.


    Heart of Australia’s fifth mobile clinic, HEART 5, is a 26m custom-built B-Double road train specifically built to support coal mine, mineral mine and quarry workers by enhancing the early detection capabilities of health surveillance for mine dust lung disease (MDLD). It will bring specialist equipment and physicians to current and former workers across rural, remote and regional Australia.

    HEART 5 is an engineering marvel and is the world’s first battery powered Computed Tomography (CT) machine, patent pending. As well as bringing the equipment critical to identifying MDLD, HEART 5 will support communities across rural, remote and regional Australia with local access to general CT radiology, contrast CT studies, and cardiac CT studies for the first time.


    “The Adoni team has been fantastic. You’ve been on the journey with us for many years and helped us share our story which is important, not just in getting the trucks out there, but also the message of what we’re trying to do to make healthcare more accessible,” Dr Rolf Gomes said.

    To help grow awareness of Heart of Australia and its founder, Dr Rolf Gomes, Adoni Media has used a PR strategy of geotargeting mainstream and local media outlets, as well as reaching out to medical and transport industry publications.

    Extensive PR coverage has helped Heart of Australia become top-of-mind for patients in rural Queensland and raise its profile for policy makers in both the State and Federal Governments and Queensland corporations and organisations.

    Adoni’s strategy delivers results when new Heart of Australia trucks are launched, from HEART 1 to HEART 5, when new routes begin bringing medical specialists to more locations, and when new government funding is secured to allow Heart of Australia to expand its services.

    Video News Releases (VNRs) have proven to be a successful PR tool in generating television news coverage in regional cities and towns where Heart of Australia delivers specialist clinics. Media events and truck tours in Brisbane has been a powerful way to give journalists across national networks an insight into what Heart of Australia does and how it helps Queenslanders.