Bosch, UK university launch digital health lab

By: Neil Versel | Oct 23, 2012        

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Health Buddy now BoschA British university is joining the growing roster of organizations formally researching the effectiveness of digital healthcare technologies and brainstorming further innovations.

The Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH) at the University of Warwick in England is teaming with the university’s WMG innovation center and Bosch Healthcare to create the IDH Learning Lab. Also participating is Britain’s National Health Service Midlands and East Region. The parties did not disclose how much money they are dedicating to the lab.

“In the UK we face an unprecedented need for improved understanding of digital healthcare technology and the benefits it can provide to both clinician and end-user,” IDH Director Christopher James told London-based E-Health Insider. “The IDH Learning Lab is essentially is a space where parties can come together to find the best solutions.”

Initially, the Learning Lab will conduct two telehealth studies. One will evaluate treatment of cancer patients with the Bosch Health Buddy system. Subjects in that study will answer questions about their daily condition and report various vital signs and other metrics through the Health Buddy platform, which will send data to care managers. Researchers will be looking at how the telehealth system can affect quality of life, patient behavior, mortality rates and cost of care.

The other study will assess remote monitoring of more than 1,500 patients with vascular diseases as part of a broader study of treatment of chronic diseases.

“Our ethos is to create systems and products that help people live better quality of lives and achieve what they want to with the aid of technology – making innovation work on a daily basis in homes across the country,” Bosch’s UK president, Peter Fouquet, said in a press release.

“The UK healthcare system is at a very interesting point in its development and technology is becoming more important in terms of delivery in the community,” adds Bosch Healthcare President Jasper zu Putlitz.

Based on a video of the vision for the IDH Learning Lab, researchers also will be looking at bringing digital technologies to medical education and studying unobtrusive patient monitoring systems, wireless implantable medical devices and virtual reality.