Led by Professor Ray Jones, the E-health and Technology Research Group is focused on the impact and implementation of e-health, on patients' use of the internet, and online collaborative learning between patients and professionals. Assessing the impact of e-health usually involves an interdisciplinary approach and we have projects and proposals at the various stages of evaluation from exploratory work, through pilots to randomised trials. At the moment we are particularly focused on embedding e-health in the nursing curriculum with our students as ‘agents of change’.
Examples of recent and current projects include:
- Health App Challenge and Diabetes App Challenge in which we have supported patients to design and develop their own apps
- Plymouth SeniorNet in which volunteers helped older people get started with internet
- a cluster factorial RCT on the impact of Superfast Cornwall on e-health readiness
- a pilot RCT of Skype on Wheels to reduce loneliness in care homes
- shared online discussion between health professionals and young people who self harm
- volunteer-led email support for people with diabetes (funded by the Regional Innovation Fund)
- identification of learning needs in using Skype (funded by HESW)
- a pilot cluster RCT of the use of AdWords to raise awareness of online CBT
- service user and health professional discussions in implementing e-health
- an online intervention for obese adolescents
- use of virtual worlds for patients with rheumatoid arthritis
- tailored information in genetic counselling (see applied health genetics).
We have developed and implemented e-learning methods (including use over more than a decade of webcasting with accompanying online discussion). We involve nursing students through Twitter (@PUNC14) in their online engagement with professionals and patient groups. Please see our recent publication on embedding Twitter as an assessed element of the undergraduate curriculum. One of our aims is to reduce unnecessary travel and reduce the carbon footprint (see sustainability, society and health).
A major current interest is in dementia. E-health is a strand of work within the VOYAGE collaboration and you can view the lecture (2015) by Professor Jones that was part of a VOYAGE/IHC series on dementia. The lecture is on the use of technology in dementia.
There is considerable scope for applications for postgraduate research degrees in these areas.