Developing new technology for Sheffield Children's Hospital
The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) is working with Sheffield Children's Hospital and The Children's Hospital Charity (CHC) to develop innovative new technologies. These will have a far reaching impact on paediatric care in the region, the UK and worldwide
The partnership, which will also work with local organisations, will develop state-of-the-art products using robotics, artificial intelligence and electronics. It aims to transform care for children with specialist health needs.
Sheffield Children's Hospital is one of only four children's hospitals in the UK. It is a centre of excellence in children's health. As part of the Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, it provides integrated healthcare for children and young people living in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, as well as specialist services for patients across the UK.
The Sheffield Children's Hospital charity (CHC) funds specialist medical equipment - developing new technologies and innovations which could revolutionise medical treatment in the UK and worldwide.
Starting in 2018 the CHC committed £50,000 annually for five years towards innovation projects led by the AWRC. An addition of £50,000 of match funding from the Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP) has been made for projects that include collaboration with an eligible Sheffield City Region SME.
Here are the innovations that have been created as a result of this project.
A robot which helps create a stress-free environment at clinical appointments for children with autism– software has been created that enables the clinician to perform interventions through the medium of the robot, which the child finds easier to engage with. Sheffield-based company New Technology Horizons is working with the project academic on future commercialisation options.
A digital app for the treatment of children with sleep disorders is being developed that will reduce the likelihood of incomplete and inaccurate paper diaries, and also automate data entry – an artificial intelligence approach is being used in the data analysis, with the aim of speeding up clinical diagnosis.
A device to improve the diagnosis of the debilitating condition Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction, which leaves children unable to exercise– the tool is being designed to investigate the condition while exercising, which is far more effective than the current static procedure. The collaborating company is Chesterfield-based medical equipment company, Talarmade Ltd.
A cost-effective, easy-to-use and portable tool to accurately quantify and visualise balance information in children with vestibular dysfunction– this is developed in partnership with a local electronics design and manufacturing company Arrow Technical Services. This new device and its AI analytical software will support earlier detection and treatment - and in turn save costs by reducing falls and injuries.
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"The strong collaborative partnership between Sheffield Children's Hospital and Sheffield Hallam demonstrates the commitment to advancing children's healthcare and developing ground-breaking child health technologies. This partnership positions Sheffield as a leader in the field of child health technology and builds on the commitment to build the world leading Centre for Child Health Technology on the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park."
Professor Paul Dimitri, Director of Research & Innovation, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust
"The Children’s Hospital Charity is proud to be working with Sheffield Hallam as we both strive to help children have the best possible opportunities for full and healthy lives. It is very satisfying to know that funds raised by the charity can be utilised by some of the brightest minds in the country to help deliver real change for sick children."
David Vernon-Edwards, Director, The Children's Hospital Charity