The University of Glasgow has received £5.5 m in new funding from the UK government for the Healthcare Quest project that will tackle the use of smart home technology to support independent living for elderly and disabled people. The money comes as part of a £32 m funding package announced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC at London Tech Week.
During the next 30 years, a total of six university-led projects will work on creating frugal technologies that have the potential to improve the prevention, prediction, diagnosis and/or treatment of a range of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), according to the Quest website.
Statisticians from Lancaster University are involved in the project. Dr. Rebecca Killick who is leading on the statistical element of the research, and currently serving as Senior Lecturer jointly in the Mathematics & Statistics Department and the Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster University explained that “This project will bring hospital-level sensing into the home enabling practitioners to make diagnoses on long-term insights. We are proud to be leading the statistical developments to make this exciting vision a reality,” according to the Lancaster University website.
Quest aims to use quantum technologies to remotely monitor healthcare markers such as blood flow and heart rate to assess wellbeing from the home. The project brings together 16 experts with multidisciplinary skillsets. Quest involves 12 partners across academia, industry and healthcare organizations.
Professor Jonathan Cooper, the University’s Wolfson Chair of Bioengineering, acting as the project’s principal investigator said: “We believe that the home environment has huge potential as a place where transformational healthcare changes can occur in the future. We hope to find new ways to make the home an extension of our physical bodies, providing the kind of detailed feedback on our wellness and monitoring of health markers that we cannot do ourselves”, according to a news release published on Glasgow website on September 7, 2020. Moreover, he added, “The analysis of the data streams from the sensors will be validated using clinically-approved models, providing users with 24/7 medical expertise to help them keep fit and healthy.
In addition to the funding received from the UK government, the researchers will receive support from Aridhia, HAS Technology, Howz, IBM, Microsoft, Moodagent, Photon Force, Savii ARMED, and Sphere, according to Lancaster University.