University focusses on digital health

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Academics at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have teamed up with healthcare and industry professionals to promote the use of the latest digital technology to improve patient care.

DMU has launched its new Digital Health and Care Unit to deploy market-ready digital technology and collaborate with primary care teams to identify a pool of up to 1,000 patients to benefit from the new services. Digital healthcare includes using a wide range of technology, both hardware and software solutions, to manage illnesses and health risks, as well as promote health and well-being. This includes mobile phone apps, web-based analysis, wearable devices and biometric sensors.

DMU’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences is keen to help promote and research this innovative environment by bringing together clinicians, scientists, medics, healthcare providers and patients in its new multi- disciplinary unit.

It comes after the British Medical Journal reported that the digital health industry was worth £19 billion globally in 2017. The healthcare technology is said to be more personalised and precise, helping to improve lives and cut healthcare costs.

Bertha Ochieng, Professor of Integrated Health and Social Care at DMU, said: “Technology is not only changing the way we communicate, but it also offers innovative ways of monitoring health and wellbeing and the self-management of long-term conditions.

“Our University commitment to apply knowledge as a public good, transform the lives of communities through its award-winning @DMUSquareMile and embed Sustainable Development Goals in our research provides us with a unique opportunity to deploy innovation”.

The day-long launch of the Digital Health and Care Unit at DMU included a series of talks exploring topics such as digital solutions, challenges and opportunities for the future and why digital healthcare is needed.

About 25 delegates attended the launch event, including GPs, health system leaders, industry chiefs and senior academics.

Professor Rishabh Prasad, GP and Co-director of the new Health and Care Unit said “Health care is broken; there are not enough doctors, nurses, or the funds to pay for them.

“In every other industry, technology has brought about huge efficiencies – but not in healthcare. We have a singular opportunity to change that”

Barnaby Poulton, Honorary Professor of Digital Medicine and Managing Director, Min Doktor UK, said:  “We have a responsibility to change the way we approach the practice of medicine.

“This new unit is a hub for academics and expertise from across the UK to deliver faster access to the best of digital health.

“We also believe that if a digital health solution works in Leicester with its diverse population it will work elsewhere in the UK”.