A research lab has been launched at the University of Warwick to test the effectiveness of digital healthcare technologies, starting with two large telehealth studies.
The Learning Lab, which opened last Friday, will track and evaluate the effectiveness of digital programmes in the NHS as well as trialling new digital healthcare technologies.
It has been founded through a partnership between the University of Warwick Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG and Bosch Healthcare.
IDH director professor Christopher James said it is important to educate clinicians patients and the general public on how to best use technology and he wants the lab to act as a facilitator to bring people together to work on projects.
“In the UK we face an unprecedented need for improved understanding of digital healthcare technology and the benefits it can provide to both clinician and end-user,” he said.
“The IDH learning lab is essentially is a space where parties can come together to find the best solutions.”
The telehealth projects will be run with Warwick Medical School.
The first will evaluate cancer patients using the Bosch ‘Health Buddy’ telehealth intervention. This involves patients answering questions about their condition and reporting things like blood pressure levels on a daily basis. Data is assessed by care managers who alert healthcare professionals if anything is of concern.
The study will focus on issues around quality of life, behaviour modification, acceptance, compliance, cost effectiveness and mortality rates.
The second project will look at how telehealth can monitor and help patients with vascular diseases as part of a wider study into chronic diseases.
Ileana Welte, divisional director at Bosch Healthcare, said the partnership is important to improve the uptake of digital technologies and to create a "safe place" for people to discuss strategies for using new technology.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity and the beginning of a long road. There are a lot of people who are keen to see solutions,” she said.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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