Category: Design and innovation

Empowering stroke survivors in their own recovery

It was Christmas time three years ago when Amy experienced a stroke. Amy was enjoying her retirement, having spent her career working in publishing. But the stroke took away her independence, paralysing her left arm such that she needed full-time care. This isn’t an uncommon outcome: some 80% of people experience difficulty using their arms after a stroke.

Amy spent the next four months in hospital, the beginning of a long road to recovery.

“The rehabilitation I received in hospital mainly focused on walking, but it was my hand that I really needed help with,” she says.

“And I wasn’t told that if I didn’t use my hand that I would lose function of it.”

Feedback First – making patient complaints easier to digest

People complain for a variety of reasons. But international evidence consistently finds that most people complain to prevent incidents from happening to others – they want to see change as a result, when they feel something isn’t right. Making a complaint can therefore be an empowering process, if people know – or feel – that their actions could make a difference.

Dealing with complaints is an important learning process for those that the complaint is directed against, but also the institution more widely. They can highlight problems that may have otherwise slipped through the net, prompting action that can prevent the same mistakes happening again and affecting more people.

What’s it like to… be a designer in healthcare?

By Pip Batey, Design Strategist, Helix Centre, IGHI

I have always cared about social causes, particularly within mental health and environmental-related issues. I enjoy making sense of complex problems and taking concrete steps to improve systems that can have a lasting positive impact. Both of these elements are a core part of Helix’s ethos and ways of working. 

Words of advice to student innovators, by Dr Richard Smith

This week we’re opening applications for IGHI’s annual Student Challenges Competition. We’re inviting aspiring global health innovators to submit their project in a bid to win £10,000.

To help budding student innovators get started, IGHI Visiting Professor and former BMJ editor Dr Richard Smith reveals his most essential pieces of advice.

Not just for Christmas – how Xbox technology could help transform healthcare

Many will be wishing to discover an Xbox-shaped gift glittering under the Christmas tree this year. Aside from the seemingly endless hours of entertainment, joy, frustration and competition that these consoles offer, Xbox technology – and other similar gadgets – is finding uses outside of the gaming world, and in the healthcare research sphere.

Top tips for budding innovators

Having an idea that could make a difference is only the beginning of becoming the next big innovator.

As we gear up for the opening of our 2019/20 IGHI Student Challenges Competition on 7 January, we’ve gathered some top tips from IGHI and Imperial College London’s many experts in innovation to help you bring your ideas to life.

These innovative individuals draw upon a wealth of experience and knowledge that they’ve built up from establishing their own start-ups or working in innovation.

Read on for their words of wisdom, and if you’re inspired by these, why not submit your global health project for our Student Challenges Competition in January, for the chance to win £10,000?

Black History Month – celebrating IGHI people

For Black History Month, we’re highlighting some of our talented and inspirational IGHI staff members. We’re proud of our staff who help our Institute thrive with its cutting-edge research.

Meet Ovuefe and Davina, who are passionate about working in health and their roles at our Institute. We caught up with them to learn a little bit more about what made them choose this sector, their careers, and what they hope to achieve here at IGHI.

Playing with nature and technology for innovative children’s hospice care

By Ivor Williams, Senior Design Associate

Every day, around 360,000 babies are born around the world. Most will lead long, healthy lives into adulthood. Sadly, a minority experience a very short life due to illness or live with a long-term or life-limiting disease. For these children, palliative care can transform their experience, helping them live with a greater quality of life, while also supporting their family and friends.

Palliative care is an active and total approach to care, from the point of diagnosis, throughout the child’s life, to death and beyond. As a holistic care it embraces physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements and focuses on improving the quality of life of everyone involved.

How robots in space could lead to better healthcare on Earth

Working in space comes with its fair share of challenges, to put it lightly. There’s the lack of gravity, extreme temperatures, intense cosmic radiation, delays in communication, clunky space suits, to name just a few things that astronauts contend with.

This complex environment means that tasks we would consider straightforward back on planet Earth, such as gripping and manipulating objects, are surprisingly difficult and time-consuming to accomplish. As humans continue to ramp-up their space exploration endeavours, attempting more daring feats and travelling deeper than ever before, scientists need to address these obstacles for future missions to be successful.

One potential helping hand could come in the form of robots.