Cambridge: Cash Award To Help Brain Injuries

17 December 2012, 06:00

Researchers in Cambridge have been awarded £800,000 to develop technologies to improve treatment and quality of life for brain-injured patients.

The Cambridge Brain Injury Healthcare Technology Cooperative (HTC) is one of eight new co-operatives nationally to receive funding from the National Institute of Health Research.

One of the projects which is planned to be developed over the next two years is a bedside machine that will provide the sort of functional brain imaging that is currently only available in a few centres in the world.

It would mean severely brain injured patients can be assessed more thoroughly and accurately than is possible using only external observational signs without having to travel to another hospital to be assessed.

The co-operative also aims to develop an iPad app to enable hospital-based clinicians to quickly and efficiently detect memory impairments in patients with brain injury requiring long-term care.

Professor John Pickard, Professor of Neurosurgery, Chairman of the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre and the first Director of the Cambridge Brain Injury HTC told Heart: "This is an exciting opportunity to engage patients and their carers, and work with the many leading-edge technology businesses in Cambridgeshire, to develop new devices to benefit patients and give a much-needed boost to the healthcare economy.

The new initiative builds on the outstanding reputation of Addenbrooke's, the University of Cambridge, the academic health sciences network and the Biomedical Research Centre for the excellence of their care of and research into brain injury in the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, Neurosciences Critical Care Unit, new Rapid Access Acute Rehabilitation Unit and the Evelyn Community Rehabilitation Project."

Other projects anticipated for delivery over the first two years include:

  • A cloud-based system to track patients across phases of hospital and community-based rehabilitation
  • A portable machine that reliably detects seizures
  • Development of current SenseCam technology to integrate ECG leading to improved rehabilitation
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