Improving the quality of healthcare delivery is a major priority around the world. However, the barriers to improving healthcare quality can vary significantly by context, environment, and population. In settings such as conflict-affected areas or areas of sustained humanitarian crisis, challenges to improving healthcare quality can be extremely complex. In this blog, the term settings of extreme adversity is used to describe these areas, but other terms such as fragile and conflict-affected and vulnerable states, have also been used in research. This blog is written by Olivia Lounsbury, Quality and Safety Programme Co-ordinator, John Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was riddled with clinical uncertainty. Technologies which could be used to monitor patients at home such as pulse oximeters were widely adopted by patients. But how safe is it to use a pulse oximeter at home when you have COVID-19? In this blog, we share IGHI’s experiences of being part of the COVID-19 Oximetry at Home Programme. This blog was written by Meesha Patel (Communications and Events Officer, IGHI) and Dr Ahmed Alboksmaty (former Research Associate, IGHI).
Mobile messaging has now become an essential tool to help healthcare services communicate and connect with patients. In a recent US study, 70.5% of patients surveyed used a form of text messaging to manage their general health. Not only are these messages a cost-effective, and convenient way of communicating, but they are also extremely versatile. In addition to reminding patients about upcoming appointments, they can be used to give endorsement, by highlighting your GP “recommends regular screening as an important health check” or to give medical updates. The latter was crucial during COVID-19 when access to physical services was limited.
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.
IGHI is home to a team of staff who are skilled and passionate about their roles. Our talented people are the reason we’re able to tackle some of the most pressing global health challenges through cutting-edge innovation.
We’re giving you the chance to get to know our staff a little better and learn about what motivates them in their roles, who inspires them and what they like to get up to outside of IGHI.
Health and care organisations have historically lagged behind those in other industries in making the most of digital technologies and data solutions. Yet the rapid onset and escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic has essentially forced organisations to embrace these tools to quickly adapt to new ways of working and delivering their services.
This overhaul of industry norms has led to a number of key questions: how widespread has this adoption been? Which tools and technologies have been implemented, and how have these solutions affected staff productivity and service delivery? What will ‘stick’ after the pandemic ends and we return to some semblance of pre-COVID normality?
World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to reflect on what needs to change, but also to celebrate the people who are working to make sure positive change happens. Like Dr Lindsay Dewa, IGHI Research Fellow and mental health expert.
We caught up with Lindsay to find out about her mental health research, her path into academia, and why she’s excited about what the future might hold.
Grappling with a novel virus that reared its ugly head barely six months ago, the world is facing many uncertainties. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is proving unpredictable and the pandemic is fast-moving. But one thing we do know is that older people bear the brunt of the impacts of COVID-19. The elderly are disproportionately affected, with those over 65 accounting for some 80% of hospitalisations due to the disease. And one in five over-80s with COVID-19 will need to go to hospital, compared with one in 100 individuals under 30.
“Please indicate whether your research will include patient and public involvement.” Ticks box.
Rapidly fading are the days when involving patients and the public in research is merely a tokenistic gesture, in favour of meaningful involvement and co-production.
Patient and public involvement (PPI) is research that’s carried out with and by patients, carers and public members, rather than to, for or about them. Co-production takes this one step further; here, researchers work with these individuals throughout the entire project – from start to finish.
Research is our bread and butter at IGHI. It lets us explore problems, ask questions, test ideas, make mistakes and learn from them. And after all that, find the right solutions to the issues we’re trying to address in healthcare.
None of this would be possible without people. But not only the brilliant researchers who are the driving force behind our progress. The patients, carers, public and healthcare professionals who devote their time to get involved and be part of our research play an invaluable role in what we do, too. It is through their knowledge and lived experience that we know we’re asking the right questions and chasing the right solutions.