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Innovative new project changes healthcare approach

The University of Surrey has launched a pioneering new approach called ‘Innovation for Health’, which will help change the delivery of healthcare in the UK.

Innovation for Health combines both teaching and research into an academic programme aimed at training the next generation of graduates who can proficiently work across the traditional boundaries of health and engineering sciences.

Building on its already strong history of health-related engineering programmes, in the first phase the University of Surrey has developed five new undergraduate courses including:

New building

Each course will be taught in the new £12.5 million Innovation for Health building, which was officially opened by Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government. This new world-class facility will enable students from engineering, biomedical and health sciences to learn alongside each other, giving valuable insight into each other’s speciality and engaging in hybrid research driven projects.

The development of a Learning Laboratory and associated academic activities will help prepare students for the changing healthcare landscape, which is increasingly being shaped by advancing technologies.

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: "The Innovation for Health programme is another example of the University’s ambition to drive innovation for the benefit of our society. 

“In addition to providing opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration to develop integrated solutions for future healthcare, this programme will also equip our students with the skills and cutting-edge technology, so that they will not only be job ready but also will be able to lead change in their profession.  The research projects that will take place in this new facility will lead to innovative devices and therapies to improve people’s lives.

Computing facilities in the new building

Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government said:

I am delighted to be here for the launch of the Innovation for Health programme and for the opening of this splendid new facility here at the University of Surrey. Dealing with the well-known challenges of health systems in an affordable way is a crucial central health innovation mission of the future.

The University of Surrey is uniquely positioned to deliver such innovative programmes and has already undertaken a series of successful technological initiatives to improve health care systems in the UK.


Working with Surrey and Borders NHS Trust, the Alzheimer’s Society and a number of other partners, researchers from the University of Surrey are combining the University’s 5G test bed with robotics, wearable technologies and remote monitoring systems to enable carers to observe the behaviour of persons they are caring for with dementia without needing to be at their specific location.

In addition to this, researchers in collaboration with other partners including NHS24 and Docobo Ltd, are trialling a new e-SMART project. This project involves giving patients a mobile phone with an app like programme to help them identify and record their chemotherapy symptoms twice a day. This information is sent securely to a system that assesses these symptoms and triggers an immediate alert to doctors or nurses if the patient requires assistance. The mobile communication also offers patients real time information and advice on how to manage their symptoms at home without the need to travel to hospital.

Researchers in the Schools of Psychology and Economics are partnered with institutions in Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Spain for the PD_Manager mHealth project. Funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme, the overall aim is to develop and conduct early acceptability testing of an mHealth platform to assist with the management of Parkinson’s Disease. The PD_Manager mHealth platform will provide a continuous feed of data on symptoms to improve clinical understanding of the status of any individual patient and inform care planning and prescribing. Further information can be found on the Parkinson Manager website.

Find out more about Innovation for Health.