Category: Design and innovation

Turning up: increasing cervical cancer screening uptake

How do you remember your health appointments? Do you set a reminder on your phone, or wait for a health care provider to send a text? When invited for cancer screening do you book right away, or ignore it or forget as it makes you anxious, or as you have too much else going on?

These are some of the questions Dr Gaby Judah, a psychologist working on behaviour change at the Patient Safety Translational Research Centre at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, considers in her research to encourage people to attend their NHS cancer screening appointments.

Give me space: how our co-designed face masks can help vulnerable people feel safer

Earlier in the pandemic, around 5% of Northwest Londoners were considered clinically extremely vulnerable and advised to ‘shield’. Although the shielding programme has ended, with the vaccination programme helping to lower people’s risk of becoming seriously ill, many are still avoiding social contact to continue to protect themselves, particularly as new variants continue to circulate.

Although all legal restrictions have ended in the UK, protective measures such as face mask wearing are still considered important to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable groups. Charities have urged the population to continue to perform these behaviours to keep those at risk safe, while also allowing them to reconnect with society.

Using design thinking to solve healthcare challenges – studying our MSc in Healthcare and Design

Through our Master’s in Healthcare and Design, we aim to enable creative thinkers and change-makers to drive forward innovative, human-centred approaches to healthcare service delivery. If you want to lead innovation in healthcare systems, services and spaces, this is the course for you. To find out what it’s like to study with us, we caught up with Jeremy Chui, one of our alumni, who was awarded a distinction for this programme. Read on to explore some of the design projects that he worked on during his studies.

Combining medicine and design

‘We were born global’ – IGHI’s latest Health Innovation Prize winners share their journey to success

During our final year at Imperial College London, the three of us – Akhilesh, Jeannine and Hansa – came together with the vision to reduce healthcare inequity. Akhilesh was born and raised in London and is of Sri Lankan heritage. Hansa was born in India where she remained well into her teenage years and then immigrated to the UK with her family to finish high school, and has been in the UK for nearly a decade. Jeannine was born and brought up in Pakistan, where she is currently based, and spent four years at Imperial in the UK. So we have always known we wanted to break startup norms by starting off a business in a low-income country and then expanding that to the UK.

Re-designing healthcare environments with a healing architecture – The Imperial Breast Unit

The Imperial Breast Unit is an internationally renowned breast research centre and one of the largest breast units in the UK. The unit receives 150 new patients per week and around 400 to 450 new breast cancer cases are diagnosed each year. According to the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (2011/2012), nine out of ten of the lowest-rated cancer patient experiences are at large London NHS Trusts.

Mr Daniel Leff, consultant breast surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and programme lead for IGHI’s MSc Healthcare and Design, worked with postgraduate students from a range of healthcare and design backgrounds on the course using human-centred design to improve the patient experience at the Imperial Breast Unit.

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.