New devices developing from Schools project that introduced children with long-term conditions to A level design students

The TITCH network, part of D4D’s Paediatric Technologies theme, has been involved in a project to give A level design students the opportunity to work directly with children with long-term conditions and their families to develop a device to help the child’s daily living. You can read more about the project in the recently released report.

Click here to download the report (pdf)

Would you like to know more about the national Healthcare Technology Co-operatives?

D4D has worked with the other HTCs and the National Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI) to produce a brochure about the HTCs and the clinical areas that we specialise in, please read our brochure.

Click here to download the brochure (pdf)


Developing incontinence research workshop – survey

D4D is currently working with Parkinson’s UK and a group of medical research charities to develop a workshop aimed at increasing the amount of research into incontinence in people with long-term health conditions.

Incontinence has been highlighted as an important issue for patients, carers and health professionals. We want to encourage researchers to answer the questions which are most important to those people who live with, or treat, incontinence every day.

The purpose of the workshop is to provide advice and facilitate discussion for researchers who are considering, planning or actively seeking funding for incontinence research.

What do you think would make the workshop as effective as possible? We’d appreciate you taking 5 minutes to share your thoughts in this survey, here.

Please submit your comments by August 1, 2016. You can complete the survey anonymously, but please include your name and contact details if you would like to receive more information about the workshop.

Link to survey

SBRI paediatric funding call

We are pleased to announce that the D4D/TITCH-supported SBRI call for children is now open. We are inviting applications to support self-care and independence in children with long term conditions in two key categories:

  • Category 1: Assisting or restoring function (limb rehabilitation)
  • Category 2: Self-care & remote monitoring

Full details are available here:

Important dates:

A briefing event in London will take place on the 21 June 2016. If you would like to attend please register here:


A briefing event will take place in Leeds on 22 June 2016. If you would like to attend please register here.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 28 July 2016.

D4D impact case studies

Two D4D impact case studies are included in a publication released by RAND Europe and the Policy Institute at King’s College London. The report is called ‘The National Institute for Health Research at 10 years – An impact synthesis: 100 Impact Case Studies’, and you can read about our approach to patient involvement and our Elaros and Head Up projects on pages 150 and 246. You can download the report here.

Professor Wendy Tindale named Healthcare Scientist of the Year 2016

A Sheffield scientist who joined the NHS as an 18-year-old junior technologist has been named as the national Healthcare Scientist of the Year.

Professor Wendy

Professor Wendy Tindale, now the Scientific Director of Medical Imaging & Medical Physics at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has contributed to the development of many clinical science innovations that have improved frontline care during her career. Professor Tindale, who has an OBE for Services to Healthcare, is also the Clinical Director of the National Institute of Health Research Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative, which focusses on harnessing technology to improve patient dignity.

She received the accolade at the 2016 Chief Scientific Officer’s Awards in London. It recognises her as an exceptional individual, who has used her skills and scientific ability for maximum patient and service benefit, engaged and collaborated with wider professional groups and demonstrated the broad contribution that scientists make to the NHS.

She said: “I am delighted and humbled to receive this award, which is really for the great teams of healthcare scientists and other professionals that I have had the fortune to work with over many years.

“Operating at the forefront of science and innovation, their skills and expertise make such an important contribution to high quality patient care.”

Through her work with Devices for Dignity, she has been at the forefront of developing technology to help people with long term illnesses or disabilities manage their conditions with dignity and independence. Most recently, Devices for Dignity has collaborated with other teams to successfully develop a novel, supportive neck collar for people with Motor Neurone Disease and a digital bladder diary to help people with urinary incontinence manage their condition.

During her career she has also worked on projects including the design of artificial heart valves, where she gained her Doctorate degree, and the development of new scanning techniques for medical imaging. She led a successful bid, announced in January, for the Sheffield City Region to be recognised as a national ‘Test Bed’ for trialling new technologies to help patients to self-care. She has extensive experience in frontline patient care as well as healthcare innovation, and has successfully translated research findings into patient benefits. She has contributed to numerous national and international committees and published widely in scientific literature.

YH AHSN Healthcare Funding Briefing Sessions announced

Interested in applying for up to £50,000 YH AHSN Healthcare Funding? Briefing sessions announced – Tuesday 15 March 2016, 3-5pm, Sheffield, and Wednesday 23 March 2016, 4.30-6pm in Leeds.

SMEs interested in applying for Healthcare Funding from the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (YH AHSN) may be interested in attending a briefing session on 15 March at the Source Skills Academy in Sheffield, or 23 March at Horizon Leeds. You can register for the events and find out more about the funding available here. £250,000 funding is available, with up to £50,000 investment for each product/service.

Announcing Half a Million Pound Contract to Further Develop New Wearable Technology

GSPK Design Ltd have taken a huge step forward with developing a new product to aide those with severe disabilities.

A £500,000 phase two funding development contract was awarded to GSPK Design after impressive results from the initial phase one process. The work was commissioned and funded by the SBRI Healthcare programme. SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, championed by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). GSPK Design in partnership with The Assistive Technology Team at Barnsley Hospital, The Centre for Assistive Technology & Connected Healthcare at the University of Sheffield and the NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (D4D), will build on work from phase one and further develop a unique wireless smart switch to help people who have acute brain injury or severe disabilities using tiny electrical signals produced by muscles (electromyography, EMG) to engage with their environment.


“This is a fantastic achievement for GSPK Design, all our effort and collaboration with the various bodies within the NHS over the last few years is now starting to come together,” said Managing Director of GSPK Design, Paul Marsh. “As a company we are in a unique position to be able to offer full product design, manufacture and regulatory support under one roof right here in North Yorkshire. This funding will not only allow us to develop the product to take it through clinical trials and to market, but it will also allow us to implement medical standards into our processes that will not only benefit us, but also our other customers, so I’m not sure which is more exciting, being able to develop our own products within the Medtech field or being able to help other companies develop theirs.”

Speaking on behalf of D4D, Commercial Director of Devices for Dignity Ltd, Oliver Wells (picture, right) said “Supported by the NHS SBRI scheme, the D4D team including colleagues from Barnsley Hospital and led by GSPK Design have pooled our complementary skills –clinical insight and understanding patient needs; electronic design and manufacturing; regulatory know-how and international marketing to solve this problem. Together, this team produced a successful demonstrator system in 6 months, and we are now well on the way to get a new product to a point where it can be used by people within the next 18 months, giving them an opportunity to regain control over their lives.”

D4D is affiliated with the Test Bed innovation centre to use technologies to modernise the way the NHS delivers care

The Sheffield City region is to be announced as one of seven national ‘Test Bed’ innovation centres to take part in a major drive to modernise how the NHS delivers care.

‘Test Beds’ are new collaborations between the NHS and innovators which aim to harness technology to address some of the most complex issues facing patients and the health service. Successful innovations will then be available for other parts of the country to adopt and adapt to the particular needs of their local populations.

The ‘Perfect Patient Pathway’, as the Sheffield City region Test Bed will be known, aims to create the ‘perfect patient pathway’ to bring substantial benefits for patients suffering from long term health conditions, such as diabetes, mental health problems, respiratory disease, hypertension and other chronic conditions.

The full press release is available here:

Adopting MedTech for Patient Benefit 2016

The NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative (DEC) Newcastle and NuTH Medical Physics, in conjunction with the Academic Health Science Network for the North Each and North Cumbria are holding an event, ‘Adopting MedTech for Patient Benefit 2016’ in Newcastle on 11 February 2016, 10am – 4.30pm. The event is for companies, including start ups, who are developing medical devices to help them understand the evidence required by the NHS for adoption, and will introduce them to the evaluation support and clinical expertise they can access at Newcastle.

For more information and details on how to register please visit the ‘Adopting MedTech 2016‘ website.