In the relentless pursuit of global health, few adversaries loom as large as antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR poses a pervasive threat to both different disease areas and public health as a whole. It has the potential to undermine modern medicine, as previously treatable common infections and injuries may once again become life-threatening. As the gravity of this crisis intensifies, The Fleming Centre will stand at the forefront of a burgeoning global movement to combat AMR. On World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, Professor Ara Darzi, Chair of The Fleming Centre Initiative, writes about the pivotal role this centre will play in the fight against AMR and the far-reaching impact it promises to deliver.
AMR poses a significant threat to global health, making it one of the most pressing challenges of our time. Drug-resistant infections occur when the bacteria responsible for the adaption and evolution of infections, gain the capacity to withstand drugs intended to kill them. The overuse and misuse of antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics and antifungals, in both humans and animals is only accelerating this process. As a result, AMR has been linked to more than one million deaths worldwide each year; a sign common infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat as the medicines we all rely on become less effective. With people across the globe already dying from drug-resistant infections, the threat of more drugs losing their potency, will put more lives at risk.
Dr Lindsay Dewa, Advanced Research Fellow in Mental Health, and Pelumi Fatayo, co-producer of Nexus, reflect on their experiences of presenting together at an international conference, and the value of putting co-production into practice.
“Oof – long day that wasn’t it! Is it 11pm or 7am? Is it Friday or Saturday? I’m so confused!” – Lindsay
That was a question I had asked Pelumi following over 24 hours of travelling from London (and Manchester for Pelumi) to South Korea. But I could see it was already well worth the trip before we’d even stepped out of the taxi – the bright lights, the heat… the friendly taxi driver trying to figure out where our hotel was on his five digital devices… we were excited! But what I was most looking forward to was co-presenting about co-production in mental health research at a prestigious international conference – ISQua – with one of my young co-producers, Pelumi. The conference theme was “Technology, culture and co-production: Looking to the horizon of quality and safety” so we felt it was perfect for us to share our experiences.
For all the advancements medicine has seen in recent decades, there remains a major public health challenge: cancer. However, a new surgical tool called the iKnife has shown significant promise in improving the diagnosis of endometrial (womb) cancer. Professor Sadaf Ghaem-Maghami discusses how this new tool could transform the clinical care of thousands of patients.
Endometrial (womb) cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer in the UK, and the fourth most common cancer in women. It affects 9,300 women and people with gynae organs every year in the UK alone. It generally occurs in postmenopausal women, but up to 25% of cases are diagnosed in the pre-menopause. Its main symptom is one of abnormal bleeding. These women are usually referred to the two-week wait clinics for diagnosis or exclusion of cancer.
2020 was a strange year. We lived through a pandemic that took a huge toll on our economy, our mental wellbeing, and for some of us the lives of our loved ones. 2020 was also the year in which there was renewed interest in addressing social injustices that have impacted traditionally underserved communities across the world.
At Imperial College London, like many other academic institutions, there were many discussions being held about our history, curriculum, use of language to describe people, and the representation of students and staff of different backgrounds at various levels. (more…)
Matthew Harrison provides an insight into the world of human centred design, highlighting how involving users early in the design process can allow us to tap into their expertise and find creative solutions.
COVID has changed many aspects of life permanently. One change is the way we have and will interact with healthcare services. It has put the path to remote and smart care on an accelerated trajectory. Virtual consultations, at home diagnostics, and remote sensors, tablet computers and smart speakers are increasingly part of our lives. But the rush to technology in healthcare risks leaving the demographic who most need it behind. This is a prime example of where Human Centred Design (HCD) comes in. Design is about optimising the relationships between humans and technology, whether it is the clarity of a printed communication, the impact of a building on well-being, the confidence you feel from a new outfit, or the usability (and safety) of an Electronic Patient Record.