University College Dublin to lead €2.1m connected health research programme

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  • Research projects at the University College Dublin focused on technology's role in cancer rehabilitation, are to get access to €2.1 million of EU funding.

    In total eight projects will be led by UCD Professor, and CATCH (Cancer Activating Technology in Connected Health) project co-ordinator, Professor Brian Caulfield.

    “Over the past 10 years, advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have been ground-breaking. CATCH is joining this fight to ensure that we can offer the tools needed to maximise the impact of the rehabilitation programmes for those living with this disease on their journey back to a full and active life,” he said.

    The eight research projects focused on identifying technological innovations to improve cancer rehabilitation and the quality of life of cancer patients are:

    Artificial exercise support - this research project will look at how NeuroMuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) may serve as an early-stage training modality for cancer patients, acting as an artificial exercise support.

    Ethnographic analysis of the current care pathway from a patient perspective - will use ethnographic research methods drawn from the discipline of anthropology to more effectively capture patient insights.

    Gamification strategies for health promotion of people affected by cancer - will focus on motivational aspects related to lifestyle change and improving health behaviour through the design of a gamification intervention.

    Qualifying private organisations’ commercialisation efforts through stakeholder interactions - will examine how stakeholder interactions influence the development and realisation of commercialisation plans.

    Quantification of health habits and needs of people affected by cancer to improve their quality of life through physical activitywill study the needs and difficulties facing cancer patients by paying particular attention to the patient’s adherence to physical activity guidelines, before and after their medical treatment.

    Strategies for increasing mental wellbeing in patients with cancereHealth technologies are already used in mental health but this research project will use ethnographic research methods with cancer patients to allow for the design of a mobile application to cater specifically for the mental wellbeing of cancer patients.

    Supporting commercialisation of technology-enabled cancer solutions through design thinking - this research project will look at user-centred innovation and co-creation, incorporating innovation problem solving and business development by hands-on experimenting, which will allow users and businesses to explore and uncover multiple relevant user needs that are also commercially viable.

    Targeted rehabilitation exercise biofeedback system for cancer care - there is a need to develop a technology platform to accommodate rehabilitation exercises commonly prescribed for cancer patients.  This research project will work with clinicians and cancer patients to design, implement and evaluate a ‘virtual personal therapist’ mobile app.

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