Our theme is focused on delivering cost-effective patient benefits through technological innovation. The combination of machine-learning algorithms with emerging digital technologies such as wearable or non-contact sensors, smartphones and computer tablets, gives us an unprecedented opportunity to provide individualised patient care. Devices and algorithms will be taken all the way from initial feasibility studies to clinical deployment and commercialisation.
We build on the achievements of our highly productive partnership between engineers, biomedical scientists and clinicians. Our partnership was the first in the world to demonstrate non-contact monitoring of oxygen saturation in clinical environments using webcams. Our electronic evidence-based early-warning system (SEND) is now deployed in every adult ward throughout the four acute hospitals in Oxfordshire. Our gestational diabetes self-management smartphone app (GDm-health) is used in 55 NHS Trusts to manage diabetes during pregnancy.
Our projects extend from the Intensive Care Unit, where we deploy our innovative camera-based monitoring, through hospital wards, to the community. In hospital wards we detect patients at risk using machine learning of routine data (Hospital Alerting via Electronic Noticeboard) and by deploying advanced wearable monitors, which are integrated via user-friendly apps into our SEND platform to allow patients to mobilise whilst their health is observed. In maternity, we use data from our 1054-participant study with data from MBRRACE-UK to determine normal ranges and early warning scores for women through and following pregnancy. Transitioning between hospital and the home, we automatically identify patients in hospital at risk of high blood pressure in the community, providing them with an efficient diagnostic pathway using modern technology provided in their own home. Our EDGE2 technology targets unplanned admissions (and re-admissions) to hospital, which account for an estimated £11bn a year in the UK. It focuses on avoidable morbidity, using the under-treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations as an example. We plan to decrease severe episodes and emergency hospital admissions in people living with COPD.
Professor Andrew Farmer is a General Practitioner and Researcher based at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. His talk is on care for people with long-term health conditions and on the prospects for using new technologies for improving their health. Why is it taking so long for mobile devices to become part of routine health care? What are the implications for privacy around use of electronic data to support health care? Can wearable monitoring devices replace regular visits to the nurse or doctor?