In the UK, over £150bn was spent on healthcare in 2013 from public and private sector sources, and household spending on health-related goods and services was over £17bn. With such a broad scale of interests and stakeholders, the healthcare sector is under enormous pressure to contain costs but at the same time increase patient choice, improve quality and safety of provision and handle increasingly complex technological and social changes which require new methods of care delivery.
WMG works with providers across the healthcare sector, their staff and patients, to develop solutions for technologies, processes and systems that allow people to monitor their own care, as well as working with hospitals to improve their environments, and investigating the use of new materials for surgery.
WMG Research Capabilities
WMG's research brings together a wide range of activity in collaboration with the healthcare sector, from early stage technology and biomedical research through to end-user implementation and delivery.
Institute of Digital Healthcare
One of WMG's key programmes is the Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH). The vision of the IDH is to improve people's health and wellbeing through the development, evaluation and implementation of innovative digital technologies. It is a partnership between WMG, the NHS and Warwick Medical School.
The IDH seeks the design and implementation of digital solutions to support service and care delivery. This is achieved through multidisciplinary research from across WMG, the Medical School and other collaborative partners. Through our work, we are identifying solutions for a healthcare service that meets the needs of today's society. This is why our focus spans organisations and care pathways, as well as individual patients.
All this is achieved in collaboration with the NHS and industry partners. The IDH employs experts in biomedical and information systems engineering, health and behavioural psychology, informatics, clinical science as well as mathematical modellers and statisticians and a number of staff have spent several years working within the NHS and clinical services.
Examples of our work in Healthcare:
Some examples of our work in the healthcare sector:
Participation in Healthcare Environment Engineering (PHEE)
The objective of this research is to improve the user experience of healthcare environments through end user participation in design and decision making. The aim is to capture people's subjective opinions, ideas, language, needs and feelings and translate these into a format that is meaningful for designers and engineers who are creating healthcare environments. Other considerations must also be taken into account such as infection control, safety, security and environmental issues. The research will produce both better healthcare environment design, identify linkages with wellbeing and new methods for end user participation in design / engineering.
Ultra-Low-Cost Additive Layer Manufacturing in Healthcare
This research considered the suitability of low cost Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) systems for application to biomedical modelling, with particular focus on the quality of the models produced and reliability of the system. ALM machines are used to produce biomedical models for surgeons to visualise medical scan data from MRI and CT scanners prior to operations to plan the procedure. With the advent of lower cost systems in the hobbyist and academic circles, an opportunity to manufacture these biomedical models for a far lower cost presents itself.
TRANSFoRm: Translational Research and Patient Safety in Europe
The objective of this research is to develop rigorous, generic methods for the integration of Primary Care clinical and research activities in order to improve both patient safety and the conduct and volume of clinical research in Europe. The 5-year project brings a range of partners together from across Europe into a highly multidisciplinary consortium which looks at areas including clinical trial information models and open standards electronic health records, data discovery and machine learning. The project will enable greater efficiency in clinical trials, seamless integration and re-use of clinical data stored in different systems and enhance the uptake of digital systems to support healthcare across Europe.
AirPROM: Airway Disease Predicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modelling
AirPROM aims to develop models of the human airways to assess how air flows through the lunchs and why this flow becomes obstructed in people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This will enable development and testing of new individually tailored therapies through linking the characteristics of different airways to particulat treatments. Ultimately this knowledge and modelling will be used by clinicians to accurately characterise asthma and COPD and to deliver the most appropriate treatments.
Supporting Professional Development in Healthcare
Developed by the Institute of Digital Healthcare, along with Warwick Medical School and NHS partners, our part-time MSc programme provides a foundation for future health service management, with the essential knowledge to manage the integration of people, processes, systems and technologies to ensure the delivery of consistent high quality person-centric care.