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‘Region can take the lead in health innovation’

Published: 4 July 2018 at 12:00

Tablet computer being used in a hospital

Anglia Ruskin professor says East of England has vital role in NHS change

Technology can change the face of the NHS and the East of England has the opportunity to be at the forefront, according to the Anglia Ruskin University professor also tasked with leading innovation in the country’s health service.

Professor Tony Young, Director of Medical Innovation at Anglia Ruskin University, believes the new School of Medicine at the Chelmsford campus could play a key role in creating the healthcare entrepreneurs of the future by providing scope for innovation within its curriculum.

A report published this week highlights the need to prepare the NHS workforce for a digital future and, as the health service celebrates its 70th birthday, Professor Young says that new smart technology has the potential to transform the way people are treated and cared for.

Professor Young, who is also the National Clinical Lead for Innovation for NHS England, said: 

“The Topol Review highlights the need to prepare the NHS workforce for digital innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence, digital health and genomics.

“Chiefly, we need to move from an intermittent and reactive healthcare system to one that is continuous and proactive, using technology to help people stay well and stop these health issues surfacing in the first place. This is an exciting time and we are trialling a number of innovations that could have life-saving potential. 

“One device we are rolling out across the region is the AliveCor, a device that clips onto the back of your mobile phone, can record your heart rhythm and detect atrial fibrillation. If left untreated, this condition leads to an increased risk of a stroke. So the smartphone in your pocket could save your life.

“With Anglia Ruskin’s new School of Medicine, we have an opportunity to embed innovation and entrepreneurial qualities into the doctors of the future to ensure that this region can take the lead transforming healthcare through the adoption of the latest, greatest technologies that will save the NHS money as well as improve patient care.”

Anglia Ruskin has a long history of promoting entrepreneurship and was named the Times Higher Education’s Entrepreneurial University of the Year in 2014. In 2016, Anglia Ruskin won the Duke of York University Entrepreneurship Award at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards. The new School of Medicine will take its first students in September.