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Innovative new projects given

28th May 2013

A number of innovative projects which could improve the quality of life for users of stairlifts recently benefited from an investment of £32 million. The funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council has been awarded to three new projects which the council believes could provide UK residents with considerable benefits.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is a British Research Council which is dedicated to providing government funded grants to particularly innovative research projects in the academic fields of engineering and physical sciences. The council has been providing funding since 1994 and has been a crucial supporter of many projects, including the following three Healthcare Interdisciplinary Research Collaborations that have jointly been awarded £32 million.

The first technology which is benefiting from this funding is the creation of a smartphone test and tracking system for serious infections. The project is a joint venture by Newcastle University, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London that is being led by University College London. The next generation smartphone early warning system could detect serious infections before they take hold of a patient, including such damaging infections as MRSA, HIV and new strains of influenza.

The second project to gain funding from the EPSRC is the University of Bath and Heriot-Watt University's project which is working towards creating a fibre-optic device which uses Multiplexed 'Touch and Tell' Optical Molecular Sensing and Imaging. The aim of the device is to detect lung conditions that are potentially fatal in intensive care patients, and it will also reduce the need for blood sampling as it is being developed to be able to continuously monitor blood in critically ill patients.

The last project to gain from this £32 million funding is for the creation of SPHERE: Sensor Platform for HEalthcare in a Residential Environment. Led by the University of Bristol and aided by the University of Reading and the University of Southampton, SPHERE is being developed as a 24/7 digital home health assistant. Sensor technology will be used to help monitor the health of patients in the comfort of their own home, and it could be of particular use to those with riser recliner chairs as it is particularly aimed at targeting falls, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases, as well as obesity, depression and stroke.


These three interdisciplinary research collaborations have been chosen for how much they can help others by "designing and integrating technologies" according to Dave Delpy, CEO of EPSRC, and through this investment these technologies are one step closer to becoming the latest independent living device.


Image Credit: gagilas (

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.