Category: Design and innovation

Health Innovation Prize winners: Where are they now?

A decade ago, Imperial medical student John Chetwood darted from his Varsity hockey match to try his hand at another competition, with a different prize at stake. It was the inaugural IGHI Health Innovation Prize, giving UK university students the opportunity to win cash towards their global health idea.

John was one of five finalists to face our panel of judges at the Dragon’s Den-style final, and took home the top prize of £2,000 towards his new diagnostic tool for an aggressive type of bile duct cancer.

Since then, teams from all across the country have competed in our annual competition, now in its 10th year and growing, with £10,000 up for grabs for the top team.

Could a robotic scrub nurse be assisting our surgical procedures in the future?

Assistive robotic devices (ARD), machines controlled by a person to help carry out a task, are increasingly being explored for their potential to help deliver healthcare.

In 2019, the UK government launched a five-year research programme dedicated to making autonomous systems (such as robots to support older people at home) safe for public use. The appetite for advancing healthcare with robotics is driven by the multiple benefits these devices can offer, including freeing up healthcare staff for other tasks and minimising human error.

Community Makers: Designing for dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic

People with dementia are some of the most vulnerable, most isolated, and least able to adapt. COVID-19 has therefore made our work with Imperial College’s UK Dementia Research Institute Care Research and Technology Centre all the more urgent.

The Centre develops technologies for a smart ‘Healthy Home environment‘, supported by remote clinical monitoring, to improve the lives of people affected by dementia and further our understanding of this common disease.

The technology aims to make an impact in a number of ways, including early identification of infection, preventing falls, understanding the relationship between sleep and dementia symptoms, and predicting and managing agitation and difficult behaviours.

Palliate, a digital tool to support community end-of-life care

The majority of people who die every year would prefer to die at home, yet only about half achieve this.

This is often due to not being able to manage symptoms at the end of life. People often have to wait longer than what feels acceptable to them for district nurses to come and administer injections. When this happens, symptoms can escalate, carers and patients can become distressed and families lose control of the situation.

Third Eye Intelligence: Buying time for people with organ failure

It’s been almost a month since Imperial PhD student Sam Tukra won IGHI’s Student Challenges Competition (SCC).

His healthcare innovation, Third Eye Intelligence, an artificial intelligence (AI) driven platform that predicts a patient’s risk of organ failure impressed the competition judges. Sam’s pitch earnt him the top prize of £10,000. But behind every start-up, there is a journey full of twists and turns.

How IGHI’s Student Challenges Competition helped us in the fight against parasitic worms

By Laura Braun, co-founder of Capta, 2018/19 winners of IGHI’s Student Challenges Competition

Parasitic worms affect more than one sixth of the world’s population (WHO). They target the most marginalised communities that lack safe water, sanitation, and health care. These worms, including hookworm and the flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, are contracted through contaminated water, soil or food.

How birdsong is helping raise awareness of hearing health

Nobody should have their quality of life limited by hearing loss. But if your hearing started to deteriorate, would you know?

Hearing loss can remain undetected and untreated for a long time. But if identified early and treated effectively, those with hearing loss can continue to communicate with the world around them and have meaningful experiences in all aspects of their life. This is one of the major messages that this year’s World Hearing Day is focused on, under the theme “hearing for life”.