N-CODE is an EPSRC funded network plus focused on the development of technologies that shift the emphasis of diagnosis and management of neurological, neuropsychiatric or neurodevelopmental conditions from hospital environments to the community.
Hospital neurology and neurophysiology services are increasingly overwhelmed. With a growing and ageing population, the incidence of neurological conditions is increasing. Compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are now over 10,000 people in the UK waiting more than a year for an appointment with a neurologist.
N-CODE is addressing these challenges through the development of new technologies that enable diagnosis and management in the community rather than the hospital environment. This could mean though community diagnostic hubs, high-street healthcare professionals, GP surgeries, mobile units or even to the home environment.
Digital solutions built around neural interfacing, signal processing, machine learning and mathematical modelling as enabling technologies offer significant potential for addressing many challenges currently faced by people with neurological conditions and those responsible for their care.
For example, they will lead to novel biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of neurological, neuropsychiatric or neurodevelopmental conditions, as well as markers that inform new therapies for (neuro)rehabilitation and clinical management. Working in close cooperation with partners who are developing new technologies for measuring brain, eye, spinal, and peripheral nerve activity using wearable technology and minimally invasive devices, as well as hand-held scanners and transportable machines, will accelerate the transformation to community-based care.
To achieve this, we have built a network of partners with backgrounds spanning academia, industry, hospitals and GP surgeries, charities and policy makers. Crucially we ensure that people with lived experience of neurological conditions are at the heart of our network. Their experience informs debate and shapes our research priorities, ensuring feasibility and acceptability of emerging technologies.
The network is run by a consortium of 4 Universities, including: University of Birmingham (PI), University of Warwick (CoI), Imperial College (CoI) and the University of Plymouth (CoI).
From Warwick, Prof. Christopher James and Mrs Maria Feijoo Reñones are on the executive committee and the steering committee.