NIHR Devices for Dignity MIC, hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, awarded £3m for pioneering HealthTech Research Centre to support people with long term health conditions
Groundbreaking HealthTech Research Centre will play a key role in developing technologies for people with long-term conditions, including neurological conditions, diabetes, kidney care and rehabilitation.
- Devices for Dignity, hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has received a £3m investment from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to establish a new national HealthTech Research Centre.
- The new Centre, which will come into force on 1 April 2024, will play a leading national role in the development of innovative health technologies for people with long-term conditions, particularly in long-term neurological conditions, diabetes, kidney care and rehabilitation.
- It will also play a key national role in developing technologies to improve women’s health and will address the mental health aspects which may accompany long-term health conditions.
- The Centre is one of 14 HealthTech Research Centres being set up across England, and will be known as the NIHR Devices for Dignity HealthTech Research Centre.
Devices for Dignity has received £3m from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to establish a new national HealthTech Research Centre to develop innovative health technologies for people with long-term conditions.
The new Centre, which will be known as the NIHR Devices for Dignity HealthTech Research Centre, forms part of a wider Government investment which will see the establishment of 14 HealthTech Research Centres (HRC) across England from 1 April 2024.
The new HealthTech Research Centres will replace the successful NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operatives (MIC), which come to an end in March 2024. Devices for Dignity was established 15 years ago after a Department of Health and Social Care pilot scheme was initiated to grow research and innovation in the medical technology development landscape and has successfully grown through various funding cycles to now become a HRC.
The new HealthTech Research Centre will build on the success of Devices for Dignity which has been hugely successful acting as a catalyst within the NHS for the development of new medical devices and healthcare technologies to support patients with long-term conditions and particularly with issues relating to loss of dignity and independence.
The new Centre will be a partnership with the city’s universities and institutions across the country including universities and NHS Trusts in Cambridge, Coventry, Leeds, London, Manchester and Rotherham and Doncaster as well as industry, healthcare professionals, patient groups and the public to identify unmet needs, generate evidence and accelerate new technologies into clinical practice.
The five-year funding will support the development of technologies in long-term neurological conditions, diabetes, kidney care and rehabilitation. The NIHR Devices for Dignity HealthTech Research Centre will also have a key national role in developing technologies to improve women’s health and will address the mental health aspects which may accompany long-term health conditions.
Dr David Black, Medical Director, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this funding to develop one of the new national HealthTech Research Centres. This is the next step which builds on the legacy of our current NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative (MIC) called Devices for Dignity (D4D). D4D is already a leading national organisation driving life-changing research into innovative technologies and championing the development of user-led technology to ensure they have the greatest benefit and impact for patients. This new funding will accelerate and enhance this work ultimately benefitting people living with long-term conditions across the UK and further afield.”
Professor Wendy Tindale OBE, Scientific and Innovation Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Clinical Director of Devices for Dignity, said: “During the past 15 years, Devices for Dignity has delivered significant healthcare innovations which have been recognised for their global impact, including a revolutionary HeadUp Collar for people with motor neurone disease to ease problems with communication, swallowing, breathing, mobility and pain and improve the quality of life of people living with this debilitating disease. Most recently we have undertaken transformative research to empower patients with diabetes and carried out groundbreaking work with ethnic minority groups to inform how an AI-powered tool to detect early signs of dementia by analysing a person’s speech can take account of their specific needs. We look forward to building on this success and expanding our capacity and expertise to include mental health alongside physical health in the drive of the development of innovations that will be at the forefront of helping people live a longer and better quality of life.”
Professor Ashley Blom, Vice-President and Head of the Faculty of Health at the University of Sheffield, said: “Helping to develop assistive technologies to improve the quality of people’s day to day lives and address some of today’s biggest healthcare challenges, is fundamental to our medical research at the University of Sheffield.”
“We are delighted to be a partner in this important research Centre which will see us continue to work together to make significant advances in our understanding and treatment of multiple long-term conditions including diabetes, kidney disease, mental health challenges and neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease.”
Professor Rory Duncan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University said: “Collaboration is essential to realise the societal impacts from our multi-disciplinary, cross-sector research. Here at Sheffield Hallam we have a strong track record of applying technological advances to address health and wellbeing challenges. We are proud to be a partner in this vital new research centre which will unite world-leading expertise from the city’s two universities with that of our health experts to continue to develop patient-centred technologies to improve the lives of people living with long-term health conditions.”
Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care and CEO of the NIHR, said: “The increased funding for the HealthTech Research Centres will build capacity and expertise in health technologies, bring new innovations to market and enable people to live healthier, better-quality lives.”
Although based in Sheffield, Devices for Dignity has a national remit and have partners locally and nationwide with a number of institutions including universities, NHS collaborating Trusts, charities, community groups an NIHR organisations and networks. Our main clinical partner organisations are:
- Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust
- Coventry University
- University of Leeds
- Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
- King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
- University of Cambridge
Our clinical theme leads and their institutions :
- David Coyle (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
- Professor Sandip Mitra (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust)
Long Term Neurological Conditions
- Professor Christopher McDermott (University of Sheffield)
- Dr Daniel Blackburn (University of Sheffield)
- Dr Kate Bramham (King’s College History NHS Foundation Trust)
- Professor Stephen Radley (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
- Professor Simon Heller (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
- Professor Nick Oliver (Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine)
Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Professor Jamie Delgadillo (Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust)
- Dr Stephen Kellet (Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust)
Rehabilitation, Assistive and Restorative Technologies (RART)
- Professor Rory O’Connor (University of Leeds)
- Professor Mark Hawley (University of Sheffield)
Methodological Innovation (MI)
- Professor Louise Moody (Coventry University)
- Professor Daniel Hind (University of Sheffield)
Pathways to implementation and impact
- Dr Lindsay Georgopoulos (Medipex Ltd.)
- Dr Avril McCarthy (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)