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Pioneering 'Learning Lab' launched to improve effectiveness and uptake of Digital Technologies in the NHS

The Institute of Digital Healthcare, at the University of Warwick, has launched a major research facility aimed at creating more robust digital and innovative healthcare programmes for people living with life-threatening and chronic illnesses.

The IDH Learning Lab is aimed at understanding and evaluating effectiveness of digital programmes in the health service, as well as trialling novel digital healthcare technologies. It has been founded through a unique partnership between WMG, the Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH) and Bosch Healthcare, and it will design new technologies and evaluate existing ones to improve the lives of thousands of people in the UK.

Working with Bosch Healthcare, Warwick Medical School and other partners, IDH will focus on selected healthcare activities. Initially, this will pioneer two large tele-health studies that could benefit up to 3,000 patients.

The first will examine a large number of patients with cancer and will look to assess how tele-health improves quality of life, behaviour, cost effectiveness and mortality rates. The second project will set out to understand how tele-health can monitor and help more than 1,500 patients with vascular diseases as part of a wider study into chronic diseases.

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. Collaborating with Bosch Healthcare, as a founding partner, is an excellent foundation for our partnership. There is a genuine shared vision between our two organisations, which will make a real difference to patients and clinicians.”

Peter Fouquet, President of Bosch in the UK, said: “Our ethos is to create systems and products that help people live better quality of lives 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 Bosch 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.”

Professor Christopher James, Professor of Healthcare Technology and Director of the Institute of Digital Healthcare, said: “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. We will channel novel research towards real-world solutions to existing problems in healthcare, resulting in rapid testing of prototypes.”

Jasper zu Putlitz, President of Bosch Healthcare, said: “The UK healthcare system is at a very interesting point in its development and technology is becoming more important in terms of delivery in the community. At Bosch Healthcare, we care about patients with chronic conditions and frail elderly people. Engaging and empowering these people while living at home requires a sophisticated set of capabilities. We have shown that we are able to improve outcomes and look forward to working to achieving even more through this collaboration.”

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