Category: Design and innovation

Palliate, a digital tool to support community end-of-life care

The majority of people who die every year would prefer to die at home, yet only about half achieve this.

This is often due to not being able to manage symptoms at the end of life. People often have to wait longer than what feels acceptable to them for district nurses to come and administer injections. When this happens, symptoms can escalate, carers and patients can become distressed and families lose control of the situation.

Third Eye Intelligence: Buying time for people with organ failure

It’s been almost a month since Imperial PhD student Sam Tukra won IGHI’s Student Challenges Competition (SCC).

His healthcare innovation, Third Eye Intelligence, an artificial intelligence (AI) driven platform that predicts a patient’s risk of organ failure impressed the competition judges. Sam’s pitch earnt him the top prize of £10,000. But behind every start-up, there is a journey full of twists and turns.

How IGHI’s Student Challenges Competition helped us in the fight against parasitic worms

By Laura Braun, co-founder of Capta, 2018/19 winners of IGHI’s Student Challenges Competition

Parasitic worms affect more than one sixth of the world’s population (WHO). They target the most marginalised communities that lack safe water, sanitation, and health care. These worms, including hookworm and the flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, are contracted through contaminated water, soil or food.

How birdsong is helping raise awareness of hearing health

Nobody should have their quality of life limited by hearing loss. But if your hearing started to deteriorate, would you know?

Hearing loss can remain undetected and untreated for a long time. But if identified early and treated effectively, those with hearing loss can continue to communicate with the world around them and have meaningful experiences in all aspects of their life. This is one of the major messages that this year’s World Hearing Day is focused on, under the theme “hearing for life”.

Empowering stroke survivors in their own recovery

It was Christmas time three years ago when Amy experienced a stroke. Amy was enjoying her retirement, having spent her career working in publishing. But the stroke took away her independence, paralysing her left arm such that she needed full-time care. This isn’t an uncommon outcome: some 80% of people experience difficulty using their arms after a stroke.

Amy spent the next four months in hospital, the beginning of a long road to recovery.

“The rehabilitation I received in hospital mainly focused on walking, but it was my hand that I really needed help with,” she says.

“And I wasn’t told that if I didn’t use my hand that I would lose function of it.”

Feedback First – making patient complaints easier to digest

People complain for a variety of reasons. But international evidence consistently finds that most people complain to prevent incidents from happening to others – they want to see change as a result, when they feel something isn’t right. Making a complaint can therefore be an empowering process, if people know – or feel – that their actions could make a difference.

Dealing with complaints is an important learning process for those that the complaint is directed against, but also the institution more widely. They can highlight problems that may have otherwise slipped through the net, prompting action that can prevent the same mistakes happening again and affecting more people.

What’s it like to… be a designer in healthcare?

By Pip Batey, Design Strategist, Helix Centre, IGHI

I have always cared about social causes, particularly within mental health and environmental-related issues. I enjoy making sense of complex problems and taking concrete steps to improve systems that can have a lasting positive impact. Both of these elements are a core part of Helix’s ethos and ways of working. 

Words of advice to student innovators, by Dr Richard Smith

This week we’re opening applications for IGHI’s annual Student Challenges Competition. We’re inviting aspiring global health innovators to submit their project in a bid to win £10,000.

To help budding student innovators get started, IGHI Visiting Professor and former BMJ editor Dr Richard Smith reveals his most essential pieces of advice.

Not just for Christmas – how Xbox technology could help transform healthcare

Many will be wishing to discover an Xbox-shaped gift glittering under the Christmas tree this year. Aside from the seemingly endless hours of entertainment, joy, frustration and competition that these consoles offer, Xbox technology – and other similar gadgets – is finding uses outside of the gaming world, and in the healthcare research sphere.