Author: Justine Alford

A Shout out for mental health

By Dr Emma Lawrance, Mental Health Innovations Fellow

These are hyper-connected times. We’re told we can get what we want – from dinner to a date – at the tap of a phone screen. And yet, even with the world seemingly at our fingertips, when we are in an emotional crisis or struggling with our mental health, it can be hard to know where to go. And hard to know what to say, when one of our loved ones is brave enough to express what’s truly on their mind.

Project SAPPHIRE: Making the most of precious health data

By Joshua Symons, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation’s Big Data Analytical Unit

Patient data is precious. It’s a resource that many researchers and clinicians use to improve healthcare and therefore the lives of patients and health professionals. That’s why we want to make sure it’s used in a way that’s both effective and safe.

How nurses and midwives are essential to achieving universal health coverage

By Nicolette Davies, IGHI’s Head of Operations

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a basic human right. The WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom, continues to highlight the importance of UHC by focusing its World Health Day on this topic. Dr Tedros’ top priority is equity for health for all, but how will we achieve the World Health Assembly’s ambitious target of 1 billion more people benefiting from UHC within five years?

Where are the ‘Toyotas of healthcare’ we need for universal health coverage?

By Jonty Roland, IGHI Honorary Research Fellow and Independent Health Systems Consultant.

By dedicating this World Health Day to universal health coverage (UHC), the WHO is continuing to relentlessly bang the drum for ‘health for all’ under its charismatic Director-General. This is a beat that more and more countries are now marching to, with dozens of governments having announced UHC-inspired reforms since Dr Tedros took office two years ago.

Why patient engagement matters

By Dr Lisa Aufegger, IGHI Research Associate

Patient engagement has become a key priority in today’s health and care systems. And some have argued it’s essential for the sustainability of the NHS.

Patient engagement (PE), the involvement of patients in their medical process, is not a new concept. It first appeared in the late 80s, when the US Food and Drug Administration brought together patients, government, industry, and academia to identify and remove barriers to successful HIV drug and treatment development. Since then, PE activities have blossomed across clinical and non-clinical areas, and generated meaningful insight into and impact on quality improvement in healthcare service and delivery.

How can we safely and effectively dose medicines for children with obesity?

By Alex, Nick, Jonny and Calandra, IGHI’s Helix Centre.

The number of children with obesity has risen rapidly over the past 40 years.

According to data from the World Health Organization the number of overweight children increased 8-fold between 1975 and 2016, from 1% of children to 6% of girls and 8% of boys. In 2013 there were 42 million under-fives worldwide who were overweight or obese. And over a quarter of 2-15 year olds in England are estimated to be overweight or obese today. This poses a significant challenge to the safe and effective dosing of medications for children.

On entrepreneurship and seizing opportunities to make healthcare safer

By Ana Luisa Neves, co-founder of momoby, GP and IGHI Research Fellow. 

At momoby, we believe every woman should have access to prenatal care, regardless of where she lives. To tackle this challenge, we’re developing a low cost, pocket-sized device that tests for diseases that could harm pregnancy, using a single drop of blood.

How light can offer earlier detection and improved monitoring of cancer

By Dr Alex Thompson, Lecturer in sensing in cancer

World Cancer Day provides an opportunity both to celebrate the huge progress that has been made in the fight against cancer and to remember the challenges that lie ahead. While cancer survival has doubled in the UK over the last 40 years, the disease still causes more than one out of every four UK deaths.

The Research Partners Group: A year on

By Alex Taylor, Research Partners Group member

“I would recommend highly [the RPG] to other researchers” – Researcher quote 15/08/2019

Just over a year ago my colleague and fellow lay member John Norton wrote a blog post introducing the newly-created Research Partners Group (RPG): An insider’s view of patient and public involvement. We’re a diverse group of 11 patients, carers and members of the public brought together by the Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC). We were set up to help review research projects and researchers’ plans for involving people like us in their work.

Well, here we are just over one year later, and we have been very busy!