Pioneering 'learning lab' launched to roadtest telehealth devices

14-Nov-2012

Warwickshire centre to create and improve monitoring technologies for patients with long-term conditions

The potential impact of telehealth on patients suffering from cancer and vascular disease is to be explored following the launch of a new assistive technologies ‘learning lab’ in Warwickshire.

Run by the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the Institution of Digital Healthcare (IDH) and Bosch Healthcare, the facility will create new devices and improve existing telehealth technologies to better support people living with potentially fatal illnesses.

Initially the centre will focus its work on two key areas. The first will examine a large number of patients with cancer and will look to assess how telehealth improves quality of life, behaviour, cost effectiveness and mortality rates.

In the UK we face an unprecedented need for improved understanding of digital healthcare technology and the benefits it can provide to both clinician and end user

The second project will look to understand how telehealth can monitor and help more than 1,500 patients with vascular diseases as part of a wider study into chronic disease management.

Through the developments made in key technologies, it is hoped the lab will help empower individuals when it comes to treatment for various health problems.

Lord Bhattacharyya, founder and chairman of WMG, said: “The IDH Learning Lab’s ability to design, deploy and evaluate technology in real time will be second to none in the UK.

“We will be utilising state-of-the-art facilities and technologies working with our industry partners to really understand the digital healthcare landscape.

Peter Fouquet, president of Bosch in the UK, added: “Our ethos is to create systems and products that help people have a better quality of life and achieve what they want to with the aid of technology – making innovation work on a daily basis in homes across the country.

“This approach is at the very heart of our healthcare products, which connect patients to services and assist them in having more control over their own wellbeing. It is, therefore, very exciting for us to be a founding partner of the IDH Learning Lab, which will enable new technology to be developed and tested and we look forward to the results it will produce.”

We will be utilising state-of-the-art facilities and technologies working with our industry partners to really understand the digital healthcare landscape

He said key to the project was to increase the knowledge of both users and clinicians on the impact of telehealth interventions.

Professor Christopher James, professor of healthcare technology and director of the Institute of Digital Healthcare at the University of Warwick, said: “In the UK we face an unprecedented need for improved understanding of digital healthcare technology and the benefits it can provide to both clinician and end user.

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“The lab will ultimately become a major resource for road testing the effectiveness of technology and the systems it exists within to provide the best possible outcomes. Furthermore, it will channel novel research towards real-world solutions to existing problems in healthcare, resulting in rapid testing of prototypes.

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