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Institute of Digital Health

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Research Impact 

Individually and in collaboration, UCL experts develop insights relevant to the great challenges facing the world. Society reaps many benefits from their excellent research, some of which occur immediately, while others develop over years or generations.

The selection of case studies below give you an insight into the impact UCL's research in digital health has already made on society and the economy. Further case studies demonstrating the impact of UCL's research are available in the database.

Case studies

Improving reading and visual search in stroke patients
Collaborative research at UCL has led to the development of two free online therapies used by many hundreds of stroke patients with visual deficits. Read-Right, launched 2010, treats patients with hemianopic alexia (the commonest acquired reading disorder) and Eye-Search, launched September 2012, treats spatial disorientation and visual search impairment.

More accurate, safer diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer
A less invasive technique for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer that potentially reduces the risk of infection and other side effects has been developed. It uses magnetic resonance imaging to allow surgeons to target tumours, making these procedures more efficient and accurate – and cheaper than established biopsy techniques.

A new method of assessing atrophy progression in Alzheimer’s disease: the Boundary Shift Integral technique
UCL’s Boundary Shift Integral technique has changed the way pharmaceutical trials in Alzheimer’s disease are conducted and has become the industry standard. These methods are more accurate than the previous manual measures they have largely replaced, and have also had significant benefit to the UK economy.

A clinical management service for stroke prevention
UCL research has developed international standards for electronic health records (EHRs), enabling patient records to move with them to different health providers and clinicians in different settings to collaborate more effectively. The work has been successfully commercialised as a stroke prevention service through spinout company Helicon Health.

Improving the quality of care of people with and at risk of cardiovascular diseases
UCL research on the quality and outcomes of care of people with or at risk of cardiovascular diseases has informed guidelines and clinical management in a number of areas.

Helping patients take control of their diabetes

HeLP-Diabetes helps users take control of their diabetes, resulting in significant cost savings to the NHS. The programme contains information, behaviour change tools, and provides emotional support through a mixture of videos, graphics and text.  It is suitable for people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, and can be used by people with low literacy.  While preventing type 2 diabetes is clearly vital, effective support for people who already have established diabetes to maintain their health and avoid complications is crucial to ensure this large population have a good quality of life and make cost savings for our health service.

More case studies