Pioneering Learning Lab launched to improve effectiveness and uptake of Digital Technologies in the NHS
A major research facility aimed at creating more robust digital and innovative healthcare programmes for people living with life-threatening and chronic illnesses has been launched by the Institute of Digital Healthcare at the University of Warwick.
This new resource is aimed at understanding and evaluating effectiveness of digital programmes in the health service, as well as trialling novel digital healthcare technologies.
Founded through a unique partnership between WMG, the Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH) and Bosch Healthcare, the IDH Learning Lab will design new technologies and evaluate existing ones to improve the lives of thousands of people in the UK.
IDH will work with Bosch Healthcare, Warwick Medical School and other partners on selected healthcare activities. Initially, this will pioneer two large telehealth 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 telehealth improves quality of life, behaviour, cost effectiveness and mortality rates.
The second project will set out to understand how telehealth 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, University of Warwick, said: “In the UK we face an unprecedented need for improved understanding of digital healthcare technology and the benefits it can provide to both clinician and end-user.
“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. Furthermore, the IDH will channel novel research towards real-world solutions to existing problems in healthcare, resulting in rapid testing of prototypes.
“It’s an exciting project and we are looking forward to collaborating with our founding partner Bosch Healthcare and other industry partners in its delivery.”
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.”
Notes to editors:
The key components of the framework for the Partnership are:
· Innovation and Wealth: New enabling technology will be developed and tested. This generates IPR and brings the opportunity to launch the technology to the global market
· Improvements through lessons learned procedures: existing technologies will be further developed and improved.
· Education: Educating patients, clinicians, staff, GPs, students, young clinicians, general public. A Digital Healthcare MSc will be included but applied to a broader group of attendees
· Develop “Lean” processes and create standards: Clinical pathways
· Partners: The project will include partners from NHS, Local Authorities, Academia, Industry and investment partners
· Scale: Scale-up/1500+ patients/users and create best practice sites across the selected regions, which could be extended and replicated globally after local validation
· Experts group: Focus groups of expert patients/clinicians will be established to create good practice in the community
· Evidence: The Research evaluation of economic and quality benefits relating to QIPP and Outcome Frameworks will be conducted. Cost-effective models with corresponding /tariffs will be developed through testing of good practice methods
· Sustainable funding and standards
Bosch Healthcare is the IDH’s founding partner in the Lab and will work alongside Warwick Medical School (WMS) and NHS partners on selected healthcare activities as the UK pioneer of two large telehealth studies:
1. Project 1 - Cancer Pathway
Using the US evidence-based Bosch ‘Health Buddy’ system and Warwick’s local expertise for the management of cancer patients on and after treatment, the Learning Lab will evaluate a large number of patients who use this personalised telehealth intervention. The project will strive to empower patients who wish to participate in the self-management of their condition and symptoms. This comprehensive care programme will also be supported 24/7 by expert keyworkers.
By assessing and assisting patients’ needs and learning around these needs, the Lab will monitor their wellbeing including symptomatic care. By utilising information flows to and from patients in their own homes and keyworkers in the hospital or community, the health or social care professionals will be alerted automatically through appropriate care pathways should any data be of concern. The outcomes of the study will focus on issues around quality of life, behaviour modification, acceptance, compliance, cost effectiveness and mortality rates.
2. Project 2 - Chronic Diseases Pathway
By joining the expertise of local NHS partners, Bosch, WMS and IDH, the Learning Lab will utilise a novel approach to chronic disease management with a multi-professional telehealth system, initially to monitor vascular diseases. This is a multi-system, multi-specialist approach in order to implement a novel monitoring intervention from which we learn and adapt, so that patients can actively participate in their health improvement.
Through this new facility, collaborations will be developed with partners seeking to design, evaluate, develop and deploy novel Digital Healthcare technologies.
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Sarah Rice and James Turgoose
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