Centre for Healthcare Technologies
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Machine learning to support care for premature babies in low-income countries

Researchers from The University of Nottingham have won the Best Conference Paper at the prestigious 12th IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG2017) in Washington DC.  Submitted papers were reviewed by over 250 experts to decide on the winner. 

The paper, presented orally by Dr Mercedes Torres-Torres, described the clinical trial, GestATion, undertaken in Nottingham aiming to use machine learning to estimate gestation age in newborn babies using still images of the babies foot, face and ear.

 paed-gestation-age-2The method could be used in low-middle income countries where antenatal care is poor and many babies are born prematurely with no record of this or unable to decide on the care they require.  The team aim to develop a software App that uses the smartphone camera and internet connectivity to support the healthcare worker looking after the baby with gestation specific advice and provide the region with detail mapping of all births. 

Dr Don Sharkey, Associate Professor of Neonatal Medicine and chief investigator, Dr Caz Henry, Carole Ward (all from Academic Child Health) and Dr Michel Valstar (Lecturer in Computer Science) were also authors of the paper.  The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

Find out more about the GestATion project

Award won for research into optical fibre sensing during critical care

Francisco Ulises Hernandez Ledezma, a PhD candidate at The University of Nottingham, recently won the award for best poster presentation for his work on 'Optical fibre sensing during critical care' at the 5th International Conference on Biophotonics, Australia.

Optical fibre sensing technology is well established and provides a range of solutions for different applications areas ranging from biomedical and health care monitoring to environmental engineering. 

Ulises's research demonstrates the potential use of optical fibre sensing technology as a tool for measuring humidity, temperature and respiratory rate through its implementation in medical devices used during anaesthesia such as mechanical ventilators, endotracheal tubes and facemasks.  The presentation included preliminary work in bench models and future plans include clinical trial tests and exploration for the detection of biomarkers from breath of patients.

This work has resulted from a multidisciplinary collaboration between researchers at the University of Nottingham (Prof. Stephen P. Morgan, Dr. Sergiy Korposh and Prof. Barrie Hayes-Gill), researchers from the department of Anaesthesia at the QMC Nottingham University Hospital led by Dr. Andrew Norris and researchers from the human odour biosensing laboratory led by Prof. Seung-Woo Lee at the University of Kitakyushu. 

Find out more about this research

World first for premature newborn research

Although neonatal intensive care has advanced hugely in recent years with many more premature babies surviving, very preterm babies are still at risk of developing disabilities or neurological conditions. Many premature babies need to be taken some distance for specialist treatment within a few hours of birth. In the UK there are currently more than 16,000 neonatal inter-hospital transfers which is on the increase.

In a few years, premature babies could benefit from new safer systems for transporting them between hospitals thanks to pioneering research underway in Nottingham.

Crash still
 

 

Clinicians, scientists and engineers at The University of Nottingham have studied the effects of noise, vibration and stress on premature babies in order to develop a safer, better transport incubator for use during transfers between hospitals for specialist care.

The initial work, led by Associate Professor of Neonatal Medicine Dr Don Sharkey, has recently been published and provides the most detailed assessment of vibration exposure in newborn babies to date.  Very premature babies who need to be transported between hospitals for life saving care are more likely to develop brain injury. This can lead to life-long disabilities and neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy. This type of brain injury is most likely to happen in the first few days of life when many of these babies are transferred. The team speculate that the significant vibration and noise the babies are exposed to could be a major contributing factor in the stress and brain injury observed.

Working with Professor Donal McNally, and others at the Centre for Healthcare Technologies, the team have also crash tested current newborn restraint systems used during the transport and believe they can be significantly improved. 

The team are now undertaking a 3 year project to develop the next generation of neonatal transport system that aims to reduce the vibration and noise, whilst improving the comfort and safety, to reduce the stress for the baby and hopefully improve neurological outcomes.

The research is large collaborative effort with Industrial partners including ParAid Medical and Jaguar Land Rover. The team has been awarded £872,000 by the NIHR to support this project, in addition to over £300,000 already awarded, and hope to have the new system available in 3-4 years that will improve the care of babies for years to come.

Find out more about our paediatric healthcare technologies


 

EPSRC Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery Programme Grant web site launched

Biomaterials Discovery Programme

Visit the website


 

Dr Sara Pijuan-Galitó awarded Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctorial Fellowship

Dr Sara Pijuan-Galito research image

Dr Sara Pijuan-Galitó has been awarded the prestigious Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship hosted by Morgan Alexander at the School of Pharmacy.

A new method of creating human stem cells which could solve the big problem of the large-scale production needed to fully realise the potential of these remarkable cells for understanding and treating disease. A new breakthrough has been made by a team of scientists at The University of Nottingham, Uppsala University and GE Healthcare in Sweden. 

The work was started at Uppsala University in Sweden, and the first author, Dr Sara Pijuan-Galitó, is now continuing her work as a Swedish Research Council Research Fellow at Nottingham. 

More details


 

Dr Adam Celiz, Marie Curie Research Fellow at The University of Nottingham, awarded RSC prize for work on fillings that heal your teeth

Fillings that heal your teeth

Researchers at The University of Nottingham and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University have developed therapeutic synthetic, light-curable, biomaterials.They allow native dental stem cells inside teeth to repair and regenerate dentin.

Full story

Coverage on Mail online


 

Healthcare Technologies plastics exhibit at Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

Plastics inside us pic

A team of researchers exhibited at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition over 7 days on the theme of “Plastics inside us”, showcasing University of Nottingham research on medical plastics in medical devices, drug delivery and coatings. There were 13,500 visitors, and the chairman of NHS England visited the stand.

The exhibit featured on the BBC World Service programme 'Health Check' (around 12 minutes into the programme):

Visit the exhibit page (includes a video about the exhibit)

Plastics inside us on Twitter


 

Research to use Artificially Intelligent devices to help critically ill patients

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Artificially-intelligent medical devices capable of continuously monitoring critically-ill patients and administering treatments when needed, are being investigated in a UK-wide research project.

The research network, involving the Universities of Nottingham, Oxford and Warwick, will identify technologies that can provide more personalised and responsive care for cancer and intensive care patients, and those with chronic wounds.

The three-year, EPSRC-funded project, which is being led by Professor Stephen Morgan at The University of Nottingham, will investigate technologies to monitor patients and administer medicines or adjust treatments as necessary, using information from built-in sensors.

Full story


 

Francisco Hernandez-Ledezma awarded SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship

Francisco Ulises Hernandez Ledezma

Francisco Ulises Hernandez Ledezma has been awarded a 2016 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship  by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics for his potential contributions to the field of optics, photonics or related field. He was given the award on 8 June 2016, in Bellingham, Washington, in the USA.

Ulises is currently doing a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Nottingham, working on a multidisciplinary research project and supervised by Professor Stephen Morgan (Biomedical Engineering), Dr. Serhiy Korposh (Biophotonics) and Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill (Electronic Systems and Medical Devices). His PhD research aims to develop optical fibre sensors for medical devices mainly used in Anaesthesia, in association with Nottingham University Hospital research groups.

Ulises is right now conducting an academic collaboration between the University of Nottingham and the University of Kitakyushu, working in the human odour biosensing laboratory led by Prof. Seung-Woo Lee. To view photos and press releases of past Scholarship Recipients please visit the SPIE website.


 

CHT logo (web) 2

Centre for Healthcare Technologies Launch

The Centre for Healthcare Technologies was launched on Monday 29 February. The main purpose of the Centre, a partnership between The University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, is to develop and rapidly adopt new devices into healthcare.

The event was opened by Sir David Greenaway (Vice Chancellor, The University of Nottingham) and Peter Homa (Chief Executive, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust). There were a series of presentations from Nottingham academics and clinicians, research funders, industry representatives, MHRA and NICE, followed by a drinks reception and poster session at the end of the day.

The launch took place at The National College, Learning and Conference Centre, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG8 1DH.

The University of Nottingham press release: Launch of UK's first Centre for Healthcare Technologies


 

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Medilink East Midlands release annual report

The Medilink East Midlands (EM) Annual Report is a summary of their activities over the past year, and includes a full list of members.

Read the Medilink East Midlands annual report


 

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Med-Tech Innovations Expo

The Med-Tech Innovations Expo is taking place from Wednesday 20 - Thursday 21 April 2016 in Coventry. The event is a platform to facilitate networking and business opportunities in the sector both in the UK and globally.

It brings together all parties involved in the development of new and next generation medical devices; academia, medical device manufacturers, support and development agencies, investors, the supply chain service and product companies.

More information / register


 

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Medilink EM Innovations Day

The Medilink East Midlands Innovation Day is taking place in Nottingham on Wednesday 8 June 2016. The day attracts more than 250 delegates and around 30 exhibitors, and is the foremost Life Sciences event in the east midlands.

More information / register


 

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3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing in Healthcare Special Interest Group

The Medilink 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing in Healthcare Special Interest Group (SIG) is taking place on the afternoon of Wednesday 27th July at the National Teaching College, Jubilee Campus. The event will hear perspectives from academics and industry as well as insights on "what you should know about prosthetic limbs, but nobody dared tell you".

More information / register