Health and wellness

Digital and data research making a difference to wellness and health.

Health and wellness research

Animal care

The Veterinary Health Innovation Engine research centre (vHive) has produced a post-mortem examination data input platform called PathPal that is currently in use under contract by a UK Government branch to normalise data gathering and exports.

Also worked on at vHive is PetDialog+, next generation pet wellness monitors by Zoetis Centre for Digital Innovation. It is a small, non-invasive accelerometer that is worn on the collar, acting as more than just an activity monitor to establish a dog’s behavioural rhythms.

Animal Care is also being researched by AI teams, including a project involving gathering data to create a sustainable disease diagnostics infrastructure across a wide, sometimes, disparate, region.. This will bring together veterinary laboratory hubs and outreach services incorporated into small business hubs and enhance small-holder farming productivity by reducing livestock disease and increasing the availability of veterinary medicines and services.


Agnieszka Lemanska’s research investigates using data to improve healthcare. Her research focuses on using information collected within routinely recorded data to improve health of people affected by cancer (e.g. data recorded in primary care when patients visit their GP or a nurse).

Electronic symptom management for cancer patients across Europe is being worked upon by Jo Armes. eSMART (Electronic Symptom Management System Remote Technology) involves a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS) Remote Technology for patients with cancers. Funded by European Commission FP7.

Jane Cockle-Hearne is researching a web-based intervention to reduce distress after prostate cancer treatment: development and feasibility of the Getting Down to Coping Program in two different clinical settings. Distress after prostate cancer treatment is a substantial burden for up to one-third of men diagnosed. Physical and emotional symptoms and health service use can intensify this, yet men are reticent to accept support. To provide accessible support that can be cost effectively integrated into care pathways, this project developed a unique, web-based, self-guided, cognitive-behaviour program incorporating filmed and interactive peer support.


A £2.7 million programme is being worked on to re-develop and evaluate the Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE) programme to help people with type 1 diabetes to better manage their condition in line with their lifestyle. Debbie Cooke’s research focuses on developing and trialling the DAFNEplus intervention - a lifelong approach to promote effective self-management in adults with type 1 diabetes.

The views and experiences of clinicians and women with diabetes regarding the use of a mobile app for preconception care was investigated by Nicola Carey. A high degree of enthusiasm and interest was expressed towards a preconception care app that could support preconception care delivery for women with diabetes, and overcome barriers to preconception care service provision and uptake.

Digital healthcare

CoMEHeRe, a project by Surrey Blockchain, aims to transform personal healthcare through the design, development and evaluation of novel technologies and business models for commodifying and brokering casually captured personal healthcare data (e.g. from wearable biosensors and the Internet of Things (IoT)) to state and private healthcare providers.

AI at Surrey are researching Healthcare to improve medical imaging technologies for cancer detection and machine learning in personalised care for better living and healthier ageing.

Charo Hodgkins is working on research for PD manager, a management tool for caring for Parkinson’s Disease patients. The project, ‘mhealth platform for Parkinsons’ disease management’, achieved the modelling of behaviours of intended users (patients, caregivers, neurologists and other health-care providers), educated patients, caregivers and healthcare providers, with the focus on occupational and speech therapies and proposed a set of unobtrusive, simple-in-use, co-operative, mobile devices that will be used for symptoms monitoring and collection of adherence data (smartphone, sensor insole, smart pillbox, wristband with several sensors for acceleration, heart rate, etc.).

Mental health

In partnership with the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), Ranjana Das and Paul Hodkinson have conducted mental health support research on building resources for maternal and paternal perinatal support. Pooling together academic research and professional expertise in the area of mental health support for new parents, Ranjana and Paul will be developing resources for parents and practitioners to better support perinatal mental health over the course of 2020 and 2021.


SmokeFreeBrain aims to address the effectiveness of a multi-level variety of interventions aimed at smoking cessation in high risk target groups within high middle income countries such as unemployed young adults, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma patients, as well as within the general population in low middle income countries.

Social media

Instagram posts as symbolic resources for understandings of the good life, and how such social media posts affect sustainable ways of living is being researched by Anastasia Loukianov. Her work looks at images of good and/or sustainable lives, particularly, in mundane media such as films, photographs, and Instagram posts. As these images support us in creating our own understandings of what kind of lives are desirable, they play a role in ways of living.

Rob Meadows conducted research on social media and sleep: ethical agendas in the digital age (Wellcome Trust). Rob and his team undertook a programme of work involving a multidisciplinary network of social scientists, biomedical sleep experts, designers and methodologists; and utilised data from designers/sleep experts involved in design and from a large sample of users/non-users/prospective users.

Contact our researchers active in this area

Jo Armes profile image

Professor Jo Armes

Electronic symptom management for cancer patients across Europe

Jane Cockle-Hearne profile image

Jane Cockle Hearne

A web-based intervention to reduce distress after prostate cancer treatment

Debbie Cooke profile image

Dr Debbie Cooke

A lifelong approach to promote effective self-management in adults with type 1 diabetes

Ranjana Das profile image

Professor Ranjana Das

Building resources for maternal and paternal perinatal support

Charo Hodgkins profile image

Dr Charo Hodgkins

mhealth platform for Parkinsons’ disease management

Paul Hodkinson profile image

Professor Paul Hodkinson

Building resources for maternal and paternal perinatal support

Anastasia Loukianov profile image

Dr Anastasia Loukianov

Instagram posts as symbolic resources for understandings of the good life

Robert Meadows profile image

Professor Robert Meadows

Social media and sleep: ethical agendas in the digital age