Innovative support for carers to feature at showcase of health and wellbeing research

Technology which aims to make life easier for the elderly and their family carers will be among the research on show as part of a 'health discovery day' at Nottingham Trent University today (May 17).

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The project aims to provide caregivers with as much support and guidance as possible

Technology which aims to make life easier for the elderly and their family carers will be among the research on show as part of a 'health discovery day' at Nottingham Trent University on May 17.

The free event – aimed at both members of the public and industry representatives – is part of the week-long inaugural Nottingham Research and Innovation Showcase 2016 (May 13 - 21), which will bring together health and academic organisations from across Nottingham.

Our project aims to make life easier for family carers and their elderly relatives

Professor Ahmad Lotfi, Nottingham Trent University

Visitors will be able to hear more about the medical research projects and award-winning world-class research taking place at the University. They can learn about the real-world impact of innovative projects, view interactive hands-on demonstrations relating to medical research and talk to talented staff and students.

The event will feature the work of Nottingham Trent University's Professor Ahmad Lotfi and Dr Caroline Langensiepen, researchers in the School of Science and Technology, who are part of the European-wide team behind the iCarer project.

The project is being developed to ensure that caregivers – often relatives and elderly people themselves – are given as much support and guidance as possible and aren't becoming too overwhelmed with the challenges of caring for their loved ones.

The intelligent system will aim to monitor and analyse the daily activities of the elderly, such as sleep patterns and diet, via sensors and a tablet-based questionnaire to assess the stress levels of carers. If the activities are recognised as abnormal – going to bed at unusual times or going to the toilet too often, for instance – or if the carer is unduly stressed, then the system will give them suggested guidance to mitigate the problem, helping to adjust the elderly person's behaviour or support the carer with their well-being.

The project has received funding and support through Innovate UK and the Active and Assisted Living joint European programme. The team working on the development of the project comprises of nine European partners, including Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd and Nottingham City Council.

Experts at Nottingham Trent University are responsible for the data analytics and inferencing element of the project, which is being integrated into the technology to provide the most appropriate information and feedback to users.

Professor Lotfi, Professor of Computational Intelligence at the University, said: "Family care is often the preferred care setting for both long-term care patients and their relatives – but many caregivers are elderly people themselves and often reach the point where they also need support.

"Care can pose a substantial burden, so often it is not the health of the patient but the overload of stress for the caregiver that results in the need for much more expensive professional care, and even residential care. Our project aims to make life easier for family carers and their elderly relatives by ensuring they are receiving important information relevant to their needs."

Other research that people can hear about at the event will include the development of new approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers, mathematical and statistical approaches to modelling complex biological systems and the effect of mobile phone usage upon health and wellbeing.

Professor Yvonne Barnett, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Nottingham Trent University, said: "We are delighted to be participating in this showcase of Nottingham's world-class health research. Over the last decade we have made significant investments in leading researchers, facilities, partnerships and research programmes in the areas of health and wellbeing, medical devices and advanced materials and low-carbon sustainable future cities.

"The application of the outcomes from these research programmes are being targeted and developed to support health promotion and to improve human health span and health outcomes for patients. The sustained excellence, innovation and impact of Nottingham Trent University research in the health and wellbeing field contributed to the recent award of a Queen's Anniversary Prize.

"The showcase will provide the opportunity to hear more from our leading researchers and will provide a demonstration of the impact of our research relevant to health."

The week-long research showcase, which includes a series of events and exhibitions, also involves Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) and the University of Nottingham.

The Nottingham Trent University event will take place at the University's Newton building between 11am and 4pm.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Dave Rogers, Head of Communications, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email.

    Further information about the Showcase is available, including a full schedule of events.

    Nottingham Trent University's five-year strategic plan "Creating the University of the Future" has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally and Empowering People.

    The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015.  It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution's world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Innovative support for carers to feature at showcase of health and wellbeing research

Published on 17 May 2016
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Science and Technology; School of Social Sciences

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