Proteus Meets with SPHERE and I-Sense for first EPSRC All-IRC Conference in Healthcare Technology

On 28th and 29th June 2017, the first EPSRC all-IRC conference for healthcare technologies took place at the University of Bath.

Named “The Future of Healthcare Technologies”, the IRC (Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration) conference brought together Proteus, i-sense (based at UCL) and SPHERE (based at the University of Bristol) to share information about each project, and provide an opportunity to network and exchange ideas and practices.

“Two things struck me; the first was the amazing progress that all three EPSRC funded IRCs have made over the last four years, and the second was the wealth of talented young researchers we have attracted to be part of these IRCs. I felt quite uplifted after two days of exciting presentations and discussions.”

Professor Vince Emery, Deputy Director I-sense and Senior Vice-President (Global), University of Surrey

With funding provided by EPSRC, an organising committee consisting of members from each IRC developed a two-day programme of talks and poster presentations. The morning of day 1 started off with an introduction from Annette Bramley, the EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Lead, followed by an overview of each project from the project Directors. After coffee and a fun ice-breaker game (“Have you ever fallen asleep during a conference?” “Have you ever sung karaoke?”), session 2 was under the theme of “Identifying Targets and Screening”. Session 3 in the afternoon covered hardware devices being developed by each IRC, and the talks were brought to a close with an invited talk given by Dr Sheryl Warttig, from the National Institute for HealthCare Excellence (NICE). Over a casual drinks reception, there was plenty of time to investigate all of the wonderful posters before votes were cast for everyone’s favourite.

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Members of the Proteus team discuss poster contributions in between talks.

The first session on the morning of day 2 was titled “Developing Sensors for Health”, and the post-coffee talks covered different aspects of data processing. Following lunch, the various public engagement strategies being implemented by each IRC were highlighted (who knew you could teach people about the spread of disease with a llama outbreak?!), with the final session of the conference going on to discuss “Implementation of Technology and End-User Needs”.

“The IRC conference was a great opportunity to get to know the work of other IRCs which are both in the medical domain, trying to solve a real-world problem. It was a real pleasure to be able to talk to fellow researchers and to find out how they find working in an IRC, what achievements they have and what are the things they struggled with. Moreover, many of them talked about the future plans and career development.”

Pete Woznowski, Researcher, SPHERE

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An attentive audience from across the three IRCs filled the lecture theatre.

Before bringing the meeting to a close, prizes were awarded for the best posters as judged by Annette Bramley (EPSRC), Helen Szoor-McElhinnery (Proteus), Ben Miller (SPHERE), and Erin Manning (i-sense). The winners were:

1st Prize: Harry Wood (Proteus)

2nd Prize: Helen Parker (Proteus)

3rd Prize: Jobie Budd (i-sense)

Huge thanks go to the organising committee for all of their hard work in arranging and running what was an engaging and successful conference.

Further Information