Amara Nwosu

MBCHB MRCP PhD


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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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MyPal podcast episode 7: Is there too much technology in healthcare?

In this episode of MyPal Dr Amara Nwosu discusses a recent article from the BMJ by Bjorn Morten Hofmann, University College of Gjovik which poses the question of whether there is too much technology in healthcare.

Too much Technology by Bjørn Morten Hofmann – BMJ 21/02/2015 (subscription required to access link)
http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h705

Digitalman

Copyright Dr Amara Nwosu, KingAmi media 2014. http://www.amaranwosu.com

Music by ‘Year of the Fiery Horse’ (YOTFH). Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/year-of-the-fiery-horse


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MyPal podcast: Nanotechnology to monitor cancer? The GoogleX project #4

Nanotechnology to diagnose and monitor cancer? Nanopills and smartwatches in disease management and treatment? Sounds like science fiction but that is what researchers at Google are working on right now! Dr Ami Nwosu discusses this in more depth.

Copyright Amara Nwosu
www.amaranwosu.com

Music by Year of the Fiery Horse
https://soundcloud.com/year-of-the-fiery-horse

References:
http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/07/google-x-sets-out-define-healthy-human


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Nanotechnology to diagnose and monitor cancer – can palliative care benefit? The Google X project

Google have entered into the health research arena. They aim to use technology to diagnose cancer early. I believe is exciting and should cause us to question how technology could be used in palliative care.

Computer science has arguably overtaken medicine as the newest academic discipline. Modern applications like the iPhone (only developed in 2007) have irreversibly changed the way we interact with technology on a daily basis. However, it is not common to hear about medics collaborating with computer scientists or undertaking computer science courses or research. This is in contrast with  other academic disciplines such as natural sciences, social sciences and psychology.

The ‘Google X’ project aims to avoid unnecessary deaths. In terms of cancer Google propose a diagnostic ‘smart pill’ that can be swallowed by an individual which. The pull would contain magnetised nanoparticles that would be released into the blood when swallowed. These particles would travel round the body looking for biomarkers, only to return (by action of their magnets) to a wearable device on the wrist to download the results. In addition to cancer Google indicate that other markers (such as sodium) could be monitored.

Google’s aim to reduce unnecessary deaths is admirable; however, should we also be asking how we can use computer science and concepts like nanotechnology to improve palliative care? Or, conversely, should high tech, high cost interventions be avoided at the end of life? This is interesting food for thought. What is certain is that technology and innovation will continue and the role this has in palliative care needs to be considered.

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/07/google-x-sets-out-define-healthy-human

http://online.wsj.com/articles/google-to-collect-data-to-define-healthy-human-1406246214