The University of Warwick has joined forces with NHS West Midlands to create the new Institute of Digital Healthcare, a collaboration aimed at improving people’s health and wellbeing through the use of innovative technologies.
The Institute will be officially launched this week and the first in a series of international conferences will take place on Thursday 7 October. The aims of the first conference, Advances in Digital Healthcare: Telehealth and Mobile Health, are to review research activities and achievement in telehealth and mobile health in the West Midlands and beyond.
The Institute of Digital Healthcare is a five-year programme based in the new International Digital Laboratory, and includes as founding partners Warwick Manufacturing Group, Warwick Medical School and NHS West Midlands.
By working with both private and public sector organisations, the Institute will deliver real and lasting benefits to patients and the public through the application of innovative digital solutions to a wide range of healthcare scenarios.
Lord Bhattacharyya, Director of WMG comments “Digital technology has transformed our lives in terms of how we shop, communicate and consume media. The same technology can be also be applied to save and sustain our lives. The Institute of Digital Healthcare is already using virtual reality, simulation and e-learning to improve the education and training of medical professionals. It will also use digital tools to help in process simulation and the application of lean thinking and e-health to provide new and better ways of delivering healthcare to patients.”
The Institute is led by two co-directors, Professor of eHealth Innovation Jeremy Wyatt recruited from Dundee and Professor of Healthcare Technology Christopher James from Southampton. Both professors have a track record of working between informatics, biomedical engineering, computational intelligence, technology assessment and the health and life sciences sectors.
The Institute is tackling a number of healthcare issues, including the use of monitoring and communication devices to support people in their own homes, and improving the communication within and between health and social care teams.
Professor Jeremy Wyatt said: “After many pilot studies, we are now in a position to design and carry out large scale rigorous trials to answer key generic questions about how health systems should use these technologies to improve the quality, efficiency and safety of their services for people with long term conditions. I look forward to working with the local NHS, small businesses and others to generate the evidence that is badly needed to help policy makers, clinicians and patients decide how to invest in and make best use of these new digital healthcare technologies”.
Professor Christopher James said: “The formation of the IDH provides a great opportunity to bring to bear biomedical engineering expertise applied to real-world clinical problems. This unique partnership provides us with insight to design, develop, deploy and evaluate a wide range of healthcare technologies to address a range of healthcare scenarios”
Ian Cumming, Chief Executive, NHS West Midlands said: “This innovative collaboration with the University of Warwick will strengthen the region’s capacity to translate scientific advances into improved public health and patient care. The public are accustomed to using technology in their everyday lives, and are increasingly expecting to use technology in healthcare. Furthermore, innovative ways to deliver medical training will improve the quality and safety of local health services.”
Professor Peter Winstanley, Dean of Warwick Medical School said: “This is an exciting collaboration between Warwick Medical School, WMG and the NHS for the benefit of patients and the public."
The conference on Thursday 7 October will include invited speakers presenting on key aspects of digital healthcare as well as a variety of oral presentations and posters. The event will aim to capture the perspectives of the academic or clinical researcher, technology provider, and user/practitioner, as well as the policy makers.
To find out more about the Institute and the forthcoming series of international conferences, visit www.idh.warwick.ac.uk
Notes to editors
To find out more, contact Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Communications Manager, University of Warwick, firstname.lastname@example.org , 02476 150483, 07824 540863