EPSRC - NIHR HTC Partnership Award: Promoting Real Independence through Design Expertise (PRIDE)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering


Global and local (UK) populations are ageing and this has contributed to an increase in demand for health and welfare services. Chronic and long-term conditions are also on the increase, leading to increased costs of health and social care and wide-ranging changes to the nature of health interventions. As a result, it is increasingly desirable to keep people out of hospital, treating people nearer to, or in their home. For reasons of cost, convenience and dignity it is also sometimes desirable that patients engage in self-care or carer-delivered care.

Care independence has long been a feature of some diagnosis and treatment regimes: most medications are taken by the patient themselves; diabetic patients regularly monitor blood sugar levels and inject themselves. This work aims to extend these concepts of self care to a boarder range of health conditions, and their associated technologies, that are not currently expected to be delivered by the patient or their carer.

The network consists of four academic centres:
* Cambridge Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge;
* CHI+MED, Collaboration led by University College London (UCL);
* Loughborough Design School, Loughborough University and
* Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art

and three Healthcare Technology Cooperatives (HTCs)
* Devices for Dignity, (D4D) Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust;
* MindTech HTC, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry and
* Brain Injury HTC, Cambridge Universities Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

This network of design researchers and healthcare technology specialists will carry out a series of design-led pilot projects to explore solutions to care independence challenges. The aim of the pilot projects is to encourage innovation in order to find radical new ways of using technologies to allow sustainable patient independence while maintaining clinical quality, safety and patient and carer experience while reducing costs. The pilot projects will be need driven and will be selected as part of the networking with NIHR Healthcare Technology Cooperatives.

The pilot project outputs will be conceptual designs that can be further developed (not funded by the network) or definitions of research need that can be developed into research proposals.

Planned Impact

We plan that this network will make a contribution to improving healthcare which has impact on individuals, society and the economy. At the individual level the aim is to harness technologies to make life better for people with enduring health problems by focussing on the patient and carer need. If deployed on a wide scale these technologies could gave a societal level impact by reducing the country's healthcare burden of treatment. If achieved, this is also likely to reduce expenditure on healthcare. There is also a real possibility that some of the technologies could become commercial successes.


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Description Collaboration enables by this grant has enabled progress to be made in developing a healthcare design toolkit that has been trialed within Addenbrooke's hospital and Marie Curie.
Exploitation Route This is a network grant and findings are limited to technical insights for individual network partners.
Sectors Healthcare

URL http://www-edc.eng.cam.ac.uk/tools/
Description The Healthcare Design Toolkit, how titled 'Improving Improvement' has since been launched at the Royal Academy of Engineering (October 2019) and has been used on a variety of projects in primary, secondary and mental health care. In addition, training in the use of the toolkit has been delivered to medical students, clincal scientists, healthcare professionals and government policy makers. Work is continuing, funded by the Health Foundation, to build a community of practice to use and improve the toolkit. Since this a network grant, there are also findings linked to technical insights gained by various partner projects.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Economic