Amara Nwosu

MBCHB MRCP PhD


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Big Data and Palliative Care

 

I was delighted that our letter about Big Data and palliative medicine was published in ‘Palliative Medicine’. This was in response to an editorial by Peter Tanuesputro which described how Big Data analysis of linked data has the potential to support care by indentifying patient needs. Our letter describes five challenges which need to be considered in order to make meaningful use of Big Data analysis in palliative care.

The letter is freely available in full from the link below.

Nwosu AC, Collins B, Mason S. Big Data analysis to improve care for people living with serious illness: the potential to use new emerging technology in palliative care. Palliative Medicine 2017; doi:10.1177/0269216317726250.

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Learning through listening: The development of the ‘SAGE Palliative Medicine & Chronic Care’ podcast

I was delighted to be invited to write a guest blog for the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) website, about my role in developing podcasts for ‘Palliative Medicine’ in my role Digital Editor for the journal.

The full blog post can be found here:

Learning through listening EAPC guest blog

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How to access the ‘SAGE Palliative Medicine & Chronic Care’ podcasts

  • Subscribe to the podcasts from iTunes here.

 


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The future of digital health? the King’s Fund Digital Health and Care Congress 2017

Much written about the potential to use digital tools to reform healthcare, concentrate on the short to medium term (i.e. 5- 10 years). However, many of the benefits from digital health will only be fully realised in the longer (i.e. >10 years) term. This is because benefits arising from disruptive technologies may only be achieved following the implementation of cultural, workforce and infrastructural change, which can take time to achieve.

The King’s Fund Digital Health Conference recenty took place across two days in London (11th – 12th July) and provided an opportunity for profesionals from different disciplines to discuss how digital technologies can be used to transform healthcare delivery in the long term. There were several speakers and workstream groups which covered discussion of the opportunities and challenges of these approaches, in addittion to providing many examples of current use of technological and workplace innovation.

Particular highlights for me was Rob Shaw’s (Interim Chief Executive for NHS Digital) talk about the NHS Digital’s perpective on the importance of utilising health data better to provide integrated care. Also, Nicola Perrin (Wellcome Trust) provided an overview of the ‘Understanding Pataient Data’ project, which looks to improve awareness in society (professionals and lay people) about the value of using healthcare data to support patient care. Furthermore, the Wellcome Trust this year will undertake a project which will examine public perceptions of the role of new emerging technology (e.g. artificial intelligence, machine learning) in healthcare.

Many of the talks at the conference had inter-connecting themes; highlighting the importance of forming policy to shape culture through engagement of wider society and professionals. Although there is evidence of innovative work in several areas, a lot of fragmentation is currenty present. Consequently, it is important for collaborations of partners with a shared common vision for digital health.

As an academic palliative medicine physician I am interested in the potential digital health applications to support the management of people with serious illness. If anyone is also interested in undertaking work in this area, please feel free to contact me.

Further information of the King’s Fund Digital Health Conference (and other events by the King’s Fund) can be found here:

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/events/digital-health-and-care-congress-2017

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Internet of Things Technology for elderly home support – NHS Knowledge Exchange Scheme

This year I was delighted to have been chosen to participate in the NHS North West Research and Development Knowledge Exchange scheme. This was the inaugural year for an exchange program which aims to facilitate the sharing of ideas, skills and knowledge between the health, University and business sectors. The hope is that such an exchange will lead to future innovation and collaboration between these areas.
The scheme was a fantastic opportunity for me to build on my interests of how new emerging technology is used to support care for people living with advanced illness. On the 5th of July I had the pleasure of spending a day with the Howz (https://www.howz.com), a company that specialises in the development of Internet of Things Home monitoring devices. Howz is a platform aimed at elderly people, typically living alone, that monitors energy usage, linking to patterns of daily activity which are identified by non-invasive multi-sensors that track heat, light and movement.The data is fed into live updates within the Howz app interface, allowing the user to notify their care network of their daily routine. The app also uses the data to spot anomalies in daily activity and send alerts to a family member, friend or care giver.
Throughout the day I met with different members of the team and discussed the opportunities and challenges surrounding the development of technology to provide health monitoring in the home environment. We shared potential solutions for overcome theses challenges and discussed opportunities for future work and collaboration.
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Further information about the Knowledge Exchange Scheme for Early Career Researcher can be found here:
Further information about Howz can be found here:


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Caring robots: UK robotics week (24th – 30th June)

Next week is UK robotics week (24th – 30th June). Personally, I have interest about how developments in robotic technology will affect the world that we live in. On the Monday 19th June I participated in events at the University of Liverpool. The ‘Robots who care’ seminar was jointly organised by The Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences of Health, Medicine, and Technology (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/humanities-social-sciences-health-medicine-technology/) and the Centre for Autonomous Systems Technology (CAST – https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/autonomous-systems/) and consisted of a variety of speakers, presenting different technological, ethical and practical issues concerning the use of robots in a ‘caring’ capacity. This included deep and meaningful questions, such as whether a robot (or ayny artifical intelligent system) can ‘care’ and, fundamentally, what we mean by ‘care’.
I presented a piece of work (on behalf of my co-authors), a collaborative with Computer science. This was an exploratory piece of work to program a robot to exhibit emotional responses in response to posed questions. The idea was to determine whether such applications could potentially be useful in palliative care education, through use of clinical stimulation scenarios.
An abstract describing the work can be found here:
A poster describing the work is available here:
The evening was concluded with a public lecture from  Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn, University of Hertfordshire (http://homepages.herts.ac.uk/~comqkd/). Her talk was entitled ‘A fatal attraction’ and explored the fascination that humans have with robots. Further information can be found here.
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Poster about the ‘Palliative Medicine’ podcasts presented at the 2017 North West Annual Medical Leadership and Management Conference

I am currently the Digital Editor of the Palliative Medicine journal (the world’s highest ranked journal, peer reviewed scholarly journal dedicated to improving knowledge and clinical practice in the palliative care of patients with far advanced disease: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/pmj ). In this role I lead the development of podcasts to enable dissemination of the journals’ work to a wider audience. Essentially this work follows on from my foray into the podcast world through my AmiPal podcasts (https://soundcloud.com/mypal), which are podcasts about palliative care, technology and innovation.

On the 14th June I was delighted to present a poster about the development of these Palliative Medicine podcasts at the 2017 North West Annual Medical Leadership and Management Conference which took place in the AJ Bell stadium. The poster featured some initial data on the popularity of the podcasts and some download data. Essentially the podcasts are doing very well with many authors getting into the process of recording podcasts which have been well received.

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A link to the ‘SAGE Palliative Medicine & Chronic Care’ podcasts can be found through the Palliative Medicine site here: http://journals.sagepub.com/page/pmj/podcasts

You can subscribe to the podcasts from iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/sage-palliative-medicine-chronic/id1179036261?mt=2

The podcasts are available from most podcast app services by simply searching for ‘Palliative Medicine’. However, if you need the RSS feed to subscribe to can do find that here: http://sagepalliativemedicine.sage-publications.libsynpro.com/rss

If you’re an author of a paper published in Palliative Medicine are interested in recording a podcast, please feel free to contact me.


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Sensor City: Connected cows and better mousetraps

This evening I had the pleasure to attend a networking event at ‘Sensor City’ Liverpool. Sensor City is a Liverpool-based technical innovation centre and University Enterprise Zone; it aims to support the creation, development, production and promotion of cutting edge sensor technologies for use in a wide range of sectors.

http://www.sensorcity.co.uk/

Sensor City

The event was entitled ‘Connected cows and better mousetraps’ and detailed myriad potential  ‘use-cases’ for the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technology in industry.

http://www.sensorcity.co.uk/event/connected-cows-better-mousetraps/

The session was led by Mark Maidman, a representative from Actility (https://www.actility.com/) a company specialising in IoT devices.

As a palliative care doctor interested in technology my immediate thoughts are about the potential uses of IoT to support care of people with advanced disease and complex needs. Events like these are excellent in fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration which will hopefully lead to innovation through sharing expertise and resources.

Further information about sensor cities events can be found here:

http://www.sensorcity.co.uk/events/

Are you interested in the role of emerging technologies in facilitating supportive and palliative care for individuals and populations? If so, please free to comment and get in touch with me.