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Professors Tarassenko and Noble join distinguished speakers at FORUM Lecture

Professors Lionel Tarassenko, Oxford University’s Professor of Electrical Engineering and Head of Engineering Science, and Alison Noble, Professor of Biomedical Engineering took part in the fully-booked 2018 FORUM Annual Lecture, ‘Transforming healthcare through engineering and technology’, on Wednesday 5 September.

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Held by the Academy of Medical Sciences in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the 2018 Lecture bought together world leaders in the field of medical technologies and engineering to explore how these innovations will impact the patient journey. It spanned innovations across early research and development, through clinical trials to healthcare delivery and patient monitoring, and their potential to transform research and healthcare delivery.

Professors Lionel Tarassenko, CBE FREng FMedSci, and Alison Noble, OBE FRS FREng, joined distinguished speakers drawn from across the biomedical engineering and technology landscape. The talks were followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience, chaired by Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Developments in digital technologies are impacting our daily lives, from communications and entertainment to transport and aerospace, but less so on our health and well-being”, says Professor Tarassenko. “Can the recent development of wearables, smartphones and machine learning provide us with the opportunity to apply the benefits of digital technologies to healthcare? Recent developments in the UK now point to a positive answer to that question.”

One such technology is GDm-health – a gestational diabetes smartphone app developed by Professor Lionel Tarassenko and his research group in collaboration with Oxford University Hospitals. Patients use the device to monitor their blood sugar levels and pass on comments to their healthcare team. This enables diabetes specialists to keep closer tabs on their patients - while reducing the number of tiring, time-consuming and expensive hospital appointments. A recent 21-month study into the safety and effectiveness of the app has shown positive results.

The Annual Lecture will be recorded and will be available on the Academy's YouTube page shortly afterwards.