Blog posts

ActiveMiles – an intelligent food intake and energy expenditure mobile application

By Dr Daniele Ravi, Research Associate, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Computing, Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Institute of Global Health Innovation

Obesity is a growing global health problem that has received increasing attention in recent years. It has been estimated that over 700 million people in the world are classified as obese. In the UK, the obese population has more than triple in the last 25 years.  Obesity has been identified as an escalating global epidemic health problem and is found to be associated with many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Although there is well-publicised guidance on recommended daily calories intake, very seldom people will comply with such guideline as recording of calorie intake is time consuming and inaccurate, as methods for dietary and daily activity assessments mostly rely on questionnaires or self-reporting.

Is bariatric (weight-loss) surgery safe and effective in renal transplant patients?

By Emma Rose McGlone, RCS-funded research fellow, PhD student and bariatric surgery registrar, department of metabolic medicine, Hammersmith Hospital. Author of ‘Is bariatric surgery in patients following renal transplantation safe and effective? A best evidence topic’ 

Many patients undergoing renal transplant are overweight or obese. This is not surprising given that the two most common causes of long-term renal failure in this country are type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, conditions often associated with obesity. After transplant, many patients gain further weight: on average 8-14kg during the year after transplant. There are several reasons for this, including the immunosuppressant drugs, such as steroids, given to patients after transplant to prevent kidney rejection.

Women in Surgery Sticking Together

By Saniya Mediratta, President of the ICSM Surgical Society

It seems strange to me, that when women have shattered the proverbial glass ceiling in innumerable fields, the statistics of women in surgery are still so low. At an astonishing 11.1%, the only heartening news is that it was once as low as 3% in 1991.

Why isn’t the field of surgery evolving with the current shift in workplace demographics? Why aren’t women choosing to pursue the seemingly impossible journey that is surgical training?

Why are so few of us women, studying medicine, not drawn to a career that inspires such awe, pride and prestige in the single word, “surgeon?” Is it because of distorted perceptions that see this plum role more suited to agentic males that are perceived to be assertive, able, task-orientated and competitive, as opposed to women that are often thought of as only nurturing, sensitive and communal?

PROGRESS: Towards the Personalisation of Ovarian Cancer Screening and Disease Prevention Behaviour 

By Dr Jon Krell,  Principal Investigator within the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre (OCARC), a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team of clinicians and scientists, focused on translational research to improve outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and an opportunity to highlight a key part of our Centre’s research programme aimed at improving early diagnosis and identifying risk factors.

Kawasaki Disease: A 50 year old mystery

By Stephanie Menikou, PhD student, Faculty of Medicine

Kawasaki disease (KD) was first identified in 1967 by the Japanese paediatrician Tomisaku Kawasaki. He saw his first case in 1960 and over a period of six years he identified 50 cases of this distinct unusual illness.1 50 years later, we still don’t know its cause, or whether it is caused by an infectious organism, a toxin, a chemical substance or something else. Kawasaki disease has emerged as the most common cause of childhood heart disease in many developed countries.2 Over 60 countries around the globe have reported cases and currently in many countries it’s on the rise.

Sickle cell anaemia – a rare disease of increasing global importance

By Professor Thomas Williams, Chair in Haemoglobinopathy Research, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the commonest serious genetic condition of humans. The disease is caused by an inherited defect in haemoglobin, the red pigment within red cells that is important for the carriage of oxygen in the blood, and results in a life-long illness characterised by recurrent pain, ill health and chronic anaemia.

How might we increase uptake of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme?

By Gianpaolo Fusari and Madeleine Maxwell at the Helix Centre for Design in Healthcare, a multi-disciplinary team of designers, technologists, researchers and clinicians based at St. Mary’s Hospital, using human-centred design methods to tackle problems in healthcare.

Over 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK, and at 16,000 deaths per year, it is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK behind lung cancer.

Lessons from Leprosy Disability Prevention and Reconstructive Surgery Programme

By Dr Santosh Rath, Visiting Professor, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London

The past three decades have witnessed impressive results in leprosy control through global effort. Early detection of disease through door-to-door survey and treatment by multi-drug therapy (MDT) in domiciliary setting ensured high rates of cure (WHO). The focus was to identify and manage high-risk patients prone to complication likes reactions and peripheral nerve function impairment (NFI).

Topical issues in STIs: going beyond testing at the Jefferiss Wing centre for Sexual Health

By Dr Angela Bailey, Consultant HIV/GU medicine, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

The Jefferiss Wing at St Mary’s hospital is one of the biggest sexual health clinics in the UK. As well as providing services for testing (walk in and bookable online), we have an active Clinical Trials Centre and many of our clinicians are involved in sexual health research which gives our patients a chance to participate in studies and access to the latest developments in STI care. Some key areas, which have been in the news over the last year, are discussed here.

Obesity – a very complex story

By Professor Gary Frost, Chair in Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London

The two states of malnutrition (under and over nutrition) account for a large percentage of non-communicable diseases worldwide. 65% of the world’s population live in countries where being overweight and obesity kills more people than those who are underweight. Obesity, the result of over nutrition, is no longer the preserve of high income countries with the prevalence of obesity now rising in low and middle income countries.