Warwick University has joined forces with the National Health Service in the West Midlands to create the new Institute of Digital Healthcare, a collaboration aimed at improving people’s health and wellbeing through the use of new technologies. 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 and Warwick Medical School.
The Institute aims to work with both private and public sector organisations to apply digital technology across healthcare.
Kumar Bhattacharyya, Director of WMG says, “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 University, and professor of Healthcare Technology Christopher James, from Southampton University. 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.
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.”
Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of NHS West Midlands, said the collaboration 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.”