Centre for Health Technology

The University of Plymouth’s Centre for Health Technology brings together digital health and technology expertise from across the University to drive the development, evaluation and implementation of innovative technologies, products, services and approaches to transform health and social care.

Focusing principally on digitally enabled innovations our researchers work with a network of cross-sector partners, including NHS, industry, health and social care organisations and patient groups, to deliver research and development of international importance, enabled by the unique population and geographical characteristics of the South West region of England.

Our research and innovation

From digital health and telemedicine to robotics and virtual reality our research is helping design, develop, evaluate and implement innovative technologies and approaches to provide solutions to the health and care challenges of the 21st century

Learn more about our health technology research and innovation

eHealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (EPIC)

EPIC is a £2.7 million ERDF funded University led collaboration, involving doctors, nurses, care homes, patients, academics and SMEs in Cornwall/IoS to help find the best uses of the internet, apps, and robotics in health and social care

Learn more about EPIC and our eHealth innovation work

Companion robots for older people

PhD student Hannah Bradwell has published a paper in BMJ Open detailing the importance of user-centred robot design.

Hannah, alongside Katie Edwards, Rhona Winnington, Serge Thill and Ray Jones, used focus groups with older people (end-users) and roboticists (developers) to assess their views on companion robots. Such interactive robot animals may have health and wellbeing benefits for older people. Both older people and roboticists interacted with the robots, with observations and comments recorded and analysed. Significant differences were found in preferences between the two groups. Older people preferred familiar and realistic designs they could relate to (cats, dogs), whilst roboticists believed unfamiliar designs better suited older people, avoiding their preconceptions. This misalignment between roboticists designing robots and older people as end-users demonstrates the need for user-centred robotic design.

Read the full paper here.