New Surrey project to change healthcare approach

The University of Surrey launches new approach called ‘Innovation for Health’, which will help change the delivery of healthcare in the UK

‘Innovation for Health’ combines both teaching and research into an academic programme aimed at training the next generation of graduates who can proficiently work across the traditional boundaries of health and engineering sciences. 

Building on its already strong history of health-related engineering programmes, in the first phase the University of Surrey has developed five new undergraduate courses including Data Science for Health, Electronic Engineering for Medicine and Healthcare, Medical Engineering, Biomedicine (Electronic Engineering) and Biomedicine (Data Science). 

Each course will be taught in the new £12.5 million ‘Innovation for Health’ building, which was officially opened by Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government. This new world class facility will enable students from engineering, biomedical and health sciences to learn alongside each other, giving valuable insight into each other’s speciality and engaging in hybrid research driven projects. 

The development of a ‘Learning Laboratory’ and associated academic activities will help prepare students for the changing healthcare landscape, which is increasingly being shaped by advancing technologies.

The research projects that will take place in this new facility will lead to innovative devices and therapies to improve people’s lives

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: “The Innovation for Health programme is another example of the University’s ambition to drive innovation for the benefit of our society. In addition to providing opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration to develop integrated solutions for future healthcare, this programme will also equip our students with the skills and cutting-edge technology, so that they will not only be job ready but also will be able to lead change in their profession. The research projects that will take place in this new facility will lead to innovative devices and therapies to improve people’s lives.”

Working with Surrey and Borders NHS Trust, the Alzheimer’s Society and a number of other partners, researchers from the University of Surrey are combining the university’s 5G test bed with robotics, wearable technologies and remote monitoring systems to enable carers to observe the behaviour of persons they are caring for with dementia without needing to be at their specific location. 

In addition to this, researchers in collaboration with other partners including NHS24 and Docobo Ltd, are trialling a new e-SMART project. This project involves giving patients a mobile phone with an app like programme to help them identify and record their chemotherapy symptoms twice a day. This information is sent securely to a system that assesses these symptoms and triggers an immediate alert to doctors or nurses if the patient requires assistance. The mobile communication also offers patients real time information and advice on how to manage their symptoms at home without the need to travel to hospital.

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