Category: Design and innovation

How wearables could help tackle sepsis

Our immune system serves to protect our bodies from threats, such as rogue cells that could turn cancerous, or infections that could harm our health. But the immune system can also go wrong, and do more harm than good.

This is what happens in sepsis, or “blood poisoning”, where the immune system goes into overdrive while attempting to clear an invader, such as harmful bacteria, and inadvertently attacks person’s tissues and organs. This life-threatening reaction is estimated to affect close to 150,000 people each year in the UK alone.

World Sepsis Day, on September 13th, seeks to raise awareness of this serious condition, which could take as many as 6 million lives across the globe each year.

What’s co-production in research?

Imagine this hypothetical scenario: a group of researchers are working on novel ways to detect early warning signs that a patient’s condition is getting worse. They think a wearable device that automatically alerts both patients and healthcare professionals to potential problems would be an innovative solution to enable earlier detection.

So the team members put their heads together and come up with a new wearable sensor that they think would greatly benefit patients and professionals alike. But when they test it with patients for the first time, they don’t get the feedback they’d hoped for. Users find it awkward, difficult to set up, clunky and uncomfortable.

On entrepreneurship and seizing opportunities to make healthcare safer

By Ana Luisa Neves, co-founder of momoby, GP and IGHI Research Fellow. 

At momoby, we believe every woman should have access to prenatal care, regardless of where she lives. To tackle this challenge, we’re developing a low cost, pocket-sized device that tests for diseases that could harm pregnancy, using a single drop of blood.

Celebrating our women at IGHI

It’s Women at Imperial Week, an opportunity for us to celebrate some of the fantastic females who help keep our Institute brimming with brilliance.

To mark the occasion, in honour of International Women’s Day, we spoke with a handful of women from across IGHI’s Centres to learn more about what they do, what makes them tick, and the females who inspire them the most.

Launching the NHS Digital Academy

By Rachel Dunscombe, CEO, NHS Digital Academy

Standing in the Royal Society on the 16th of April waiting for the participants to arrive was both surreal and exciting. Surreal because of the rapid journey our wonderful team had taken to make the programme happen – this had become a reality so quickly. Exciting because I couldn’t wait to get started – this programme is important for the system and for me something I am hugely committed to.

The Digital Academy operational team, of which I am a part, are all keen to ensure that this programme is as grounded in digital leaders’ practice as much as possible rather than being too high end academic.

Advancing patient outcomes through technological innovation – from science fiction to science fact

By IGHI guest blogger, Chris Bird, PG student from the MSC in Health Policy at the Centre for Health Policy and Project Manager in the System Engagement Programme at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

At a recent conference I was lucky to listen to a guest lecture by Dr Kevin Fong. Kevin has a long standing interest in human space exploration and space medicine and has worked with NASA’s Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Office at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston. He’s travelled the world to meet medical innovators and has produced interesting documentaries for television showing the extreme scenarios in which healthcare and technology can be applied to further human survival.

Tackling Stroke with University Innovation

By guest blogger and Imperial alumnus Margaux Lesaffre

Stroke is the silent killer; there are no clear symptoms until people realise they can’t talk, move or even swallow. Annually, over 5 million deaths worldwide are caused by strokes, ranking this disease in the first ten leading cause of deaths.  In developed countries, the incidence of stroke is dropping, but the outcome is still severe with some stroke victims left permanently disabled.

So what’s the way forward?

University researchers have developed remarkable innovations that could deliver significantly more reliable diagnostics and treatment. This blog looks at different ways university research can tackle this insidious disease.