Journal dedicates edition to ground-breaking work of NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC

A medical engineering and technology journal has dedicated a full edition to the work of a team that develops innovative technology solutions to support people with long-term conditions.

NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative, which is hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), has had 12 articles published in the Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology.

It features case studies and examples of NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC’s work, and academic discussions of the projects. There is a focus on ‘empathic engineering,’ meaning technologies that have been designed to meet the needs of people with long-term conditions, and that enable them to live with dignity.

Dr Nicola Heron, Programme Manager for NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC, said: “The editor contacted us because they were very interested in what we do and thought our work would be valuable to a wider audience.

“To be approached is recognition that we are doing something unique and interesting. It was a great opportunity for us to be able to collaborate with our partners to pull together our work and present it in depth.”

The ‘Head Up’ project is among those highlighted in the journal. NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC worked collaboratively with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) patients and others to develop a revolutionary collar that supports the patient’s head and neck, which helps with everyday tasks such as eating and communicating.

Dr Heron said: “We are particularly proud of this because it shows what Devices for Dignity is all about. It has taken years of hard work to address an unmet need for patients, and it is now almost ready to go on the market.”

Other articles cover topics such as technology innovations for patients with kidney disease, functional electrical stimulation for tetraplegic patients, communication aids, and robot assisted rehabilitation.

NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC brings together inventors, clinical and healthcare staff, industry, academics, charities, the public, patients and carers to develop solutions to areas of unmet clinical and patient need. You can find out more about what NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC do on the website,

The special edition of the Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology can be accessed at Selected articles will be free to access without subscription for a limited time.