Technology-informed practice

Centre for Health Technology

From remote monitoring of health conditions and patient self-care management to supporting lifestyle behaviour change and managing appointments we work with NHS, care organisations, businesses and patient groups to deliver digital innovations of relevance to the needs of clinicians, patients and public. CHT has produced several first-of-their-kind toolkits to support technology translation into practice, including the NHIR/MRC funded Telerehab toolkit. 
<p>Telerehab patients communicating with health practitioners using a laptop<br></p>
Women, children and families
There are a growing number of online and app-based fertility awareness methods available, for monitoring menstrual cycles and identifying the ‘fertile window’. However, the way people use these methods, and how they feel about them, has received little research attention so far. The Freyja study, carried out in conjunction with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine by members of the Future Generations Research Group found that digital technologies can provide information and support for those wanting to conceive, though they should complement rather than substitute care in statutory services. Members of the Future Generations Research Group have also examined the role of apps in supporting weight loss in women experiencing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.
Recent publications
Bailey JV, Bennett KF, Gubijev A, Shawe J, Stephenson J (2021) Participant views and experiences of sexual health research: The Contraception Choices online trial Digital Health Vol.7   10.1177/20552076211033424  
de Cock C, van Velthoven M, Milne-Ives M, Mooney M & Meinert E (2020) 'Use of Apps to Promote Childhood Vaccination: Systematic Review' JMIR mHealth and uHealth 8, (5) e17371-e17371 , DOI
Edwards K, Bradwell H, Jones R, Andrade J & Shawe J (2021) 'How do women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus use mHealth during and after pregnancy? Qualitative exploration of women's views and experiences' Midwifery , DOI Open access
Edwards KJ, Maslin K, Andrade J, Jones RB & Shawe J (2020) 'mHealth as a primary mode of intervention for women at risk of, or diagnosed with, gestational diabetes' JBI Evidence Synthesis 19, (3) 660-668 , DOI Open access
Edwards KJ, Maslin K, Andrade J, Jones RB & Shawe J (2022) 'Mobile health as a primary mode of intervention for women at risk of, or diagnosed with, gestational diabetes mellitus' JBI Evidence Synthesis Publish Ahead of Print, , DOI Open access
French RS, Shawe J, Tilouche N, Earle S, Grenfell P (2020) (Not) talking about fertility: the role of digital technologies and health services in helping plan pregnancy. A qualitative study BMJ SEXUAL && REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH     10.1136/bmjsrh-2020-200862 
Grenfell P, Tilouche N, Shawe J, French RS (2021) Fertility and digital technology: narratives of using smartphone app ‘Natural Cycles’ while trying to conceive SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS Vol.43 Iss.1 10.1111/1467-9566.13199 
Iyawa GE, Khan A, Dagadu S, Magtubo KM & Sievert RC (2019) 'Identifying the Components of a Smart Health Ecosystem for Asthma Patients: A Systematic Literature Review and Conceptual Framework' in Goyal D; Balamurugan S Open access
Lam C, Milne-Ives M, Harrington R, Jani A, Helena van Velthoven M, Harding T & Meinert E (2022) 'Internet of things–Enabled technologies as an intervention for childhood obesity: A systematic review' PLOS Digital Health 1, (4) , DOI Open access
Lam C, Milne-Ives M, Van Velthoven MH & Meinert E (2020) 'Internet of Things–Enabled Technologies for Weight Management in Children and Adolescents: Protocol for a Systematic Review' JMIR Research Protocols 9, (3) e16930-e16930 , DOI
McInroy, L. B., & Beer, O. W. J. (2020). Wands up! Internet-mediated social advocacy organizations and youth-oriented connective action. New Media & Society.
McInroy LB, Zapcic I & Beer OWJ (2021) 'Online fandom communities as networked counterpublics: LGBTQ+ youths’ perceptions of representation and community climate' Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 28, (3) 629-647 , DOI
McInroy LB & Beer OWJ (2021) 'Adapting vignettes for internet-based research: eliciting realistic responses to the digital milieu' International Journal of Social Research Methodology 25, (3) 335-347 , DOI
Milne-Ives M, Lam C & Meinert E (2021) 'Digital technologies for monitoring and improving treatment adherence in children and adolescents with asthma: A scoping review of randomised controlled trials' JMIR Public Health and Surveillance 4, (3) , DOI Open access
Milne-Ives M, Neill S, Meinert E (2021) The impact of digital educational interventions to support parents caring for acutely ill children at home and factors that affect their use: systematic review protocol JMIR RESEARCH PROTOCOLS Vol.10 Iss.6 10.2196/27504 
Stephenson J, Bailey JV, Blandford A, Brima N, Copas A, D’Souza P, Gubijev A, Hunter R, Shawe J, Rait G, Oliver S (2020) An interactive website to aid young women’s choice of contraception: feasibility and efficacy RCT HEALTH TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT Vol.24 Iss.56 10.3310/hta24560  [Online]
Van Velthoven MH, Milne-Ives M, de Cock C, Mooney M & Meinert E (2020) 'Use of Apps to Promote Childhood Vaccination: Protocol for a Systematic Review' JMIR Research Protocols 9, (2) e16929-e16929 , DOI
Led by Professor Jennifer Freeman, staff from the Rehabilitation research group and CHT have developed a toolkit for health and social care practitioners, patients and carers to support the delivery of rehabilitation services via remote methods such as video-based and telephone. The Telerehab toolkit, which is funded by NIHR and UKRI, responded to both the decline in face-to-face input during the COVID-19 period and the need to support those recovering from the disease.
Recent publications
Buckingham SA, Anil K, Demain S, Gunn H, Jones RB, Kent B, Logan A, Marsden J, Playford ED & Freeman J (2022) 'Telerehabilitation for People With Physical Disabilities and Movement Impairment: A Survey of United Kingdom Practitioners' JMIRx Med 3, (1) , DOI Open access
Buckingham S, Anil K, Demain S, Gunn H, Jones RB, Kent B, Logan A, Marsden J, Playford ED & Freeman J (2022) 'Telerehabilitation for people with physical disabilities and movement impairment: development and evaluation of an online toolkit for practitioners and patients' Disability and Rehabilitation 1-8
Buckingham SA, Sein K, Anil K, Demain S, Gunn H, Jones RB, Kent B, Logan A, Marsden J & Playford ED (2022) 'Telerehabilitation for physical disabilities and movement impairment: A service evaluation in South West England' Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice , DOI Open access
Jones RB, Hubble S, Taylor L, Gunn H, Logan A, Rowland T, Bradwell H, Connolly LJ, Algie K & Anil K (2021) 'Technologies to Support Assessment of Movement During Video Consultations: Exploratory Study' JMIRx Med 2, (3) , DOI Open access
Anil K, Freeman JA, Buckingham S, Demain S, Gunn H, Jones RB, Logan A, Marsden J, Playford D & Sein K (2021) 'Scope, context and quality of telerehabilitation guidelines for physical disabilities: a scoping review' BMJ Open 11, (8) , DOI Open access
Feinstein A, Amato MP, Brichetto G, Chataway J, Chiaravalloti ND, Cutter G, Dalgas U, DeLuca J, Farrell R & Feys P (2021) 'The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on an international rehabilitation study in MS: the CogEx experience' Journal of Neurology , DOI Open access
Social care
Technology also offers opportunities to help people maintain independence and improve outcomes using tech enabled care as well as freeing up the time care workers spend on administration tasks for more face-to-face care and helping care providers to operate more efficiently. Several studies under the EPIC project explored the potential of often simple digital technologies to improve social interaction and reduce loneliness. The CHT team is also exploring the potential of introducing remote monitoring technologies into domiciliary and residential care.
Recent publications
Milne-Ives M, Shankar R, Goodley D, Lamb K, Laugharne R, Harding T & Meinert E (2022) 'Humanising health and social care support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Protocol for a scoping review' JMIR Research Protocols 11, (5) , DOI Open access
Edwards KJ, Jones RB, Shenton D, Page T, Maramba I, Warren A, Fraser F, Križaj T, Coombe T & Cowls H (2021) 'The Use of Smart Speakers in Care Home Residents: Implementation Study' Journal of Medical Internet Research 23, (12) , DOI Open access
Zamir S, Allman F, Hennessy CH, Taylor AH, Jones RB (2021) Aesthetically Designing Video-Call Technology With Care Home Residents: A Focus Group Study FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY Vol.12   10.3389/fpsyg.2021.540048 
Zamir S, Hennessy CH, Taylor AH, Jones RB (2021) Feasibility of school students Skyping care home residents to reduce loneliness COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR REPORTS     10.1016/j.chbr.2021.100053 
Bradwell HL, Edwards K, Shenton D, Winnington R, Thill S & Jones RB (2021) 'User-Centered Design of Companion Robot Pets Involving Care Home Resident-Robot Interactions and Focus Groups With Residents, Staff, and Family: Qualitative Study' JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies 8, (4) , DOI Open access
Bradwell HL, Johnson CW, Lee J, Winnington R, Thill S, Jones RB (2020) Microbial contamination and efficacy of disinfection procedures of companion robots in care homes PLOS ONE Vol.15 Iss.8 10.1371/journal.pone.0237069 
Zamir S, Hennessy C, Taylor A, Jones R (2020) Intergroup ‘Skype’ Quiz Sessions in Care Homes to Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation in Older People GERIATRICS Vol.5 Iss.4 10.3390/geriatrics5040090 
Dental care
Our dental researchers have an established collaboration with engineers in school on a robotics in dentistry group Privacy-preserving Robotics in DEntistry - University of Plymouth and are co-hosting two PhD studentships, one a cybersecurity project and one a computer vision project. Visual analysis systems to detect and predict the signs of anxiety in dental care is another focus, as is the development of privacy preserving authentication for cloud robotics in smart dental systems. The group does work on machine learning in general. Due to a collaboration with the European Space Agency, which has provided both a server space and dedicated data scientists, complex systematic reviews involving human, animal and in-vitro studies are being run through machine learning. They are also working on building a AI and Robotics lab in Dentistry – a first for dental schools in the UK.