Technology-informed practice

Centre for Health Technology

From remote monitoring of health conditions and patient self-care management to supporting lifestyle behaviour change and managing appointments we work with NHS, care organisations, businesses and patient groups to deliver digital innovations of relevance to the needs of clinicians, patients and public. CHT has produced several first-of-their-kind toolkits to support technology translation into practice, including the NHIR/MRC funded Telerehab toolkit. 
Telerehab patients communicating with health practitioners using a laptop

Women, children and families

There are a growing number of online and app-based fertility awareness methods available, for monitoring menstrual cycles and identifying the ‘fertile window’. However, the way people use these methods, and how they feel about them, has received little research attention so far. The Freyja study, carried out in conjunction with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine by members of the Future Generations Research Group found that digital technologies can provide information and support for those wanting to conceive, though they should complement rather than substitute care in statutory services. Members of the Future Generations Research Group have also examined the role of apps in supporting weight loss in women experiencing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.

Recent publications

Bailey JV, Bennett KF, Gubijev A, Shawe J, Stephenson J (2021) Participant views and experiences of sexual health research: The Contraception Choices online trial Digital Health Vol.7     10.1177/20552076211033424  
de Cock C, van Velthoven M, Milne-Ives M, Mooney M & Meinert E (2020) 'Use of Apps to Promote Childhood Vaccination: Systematic Review' JMIR mHealth and uHealth 8, (5) e17371-e17371,
Edwards K, Bradwell H, Jones R, Andrade J & Shawe J (2021) 'How do women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus use mHealth during and after pregnancy? Qualitative exploration of women's views and experiences' Midwifery,
Edwards KJ, Maslin K, Andrade J, Jones RB & Shawe J (2020) 'mHealth as a primary mode of intervention for women at risk of, or diagnosed with, gestational diabetes' JBI Evidence Synthesis 19, (3) 660-668,
Edwards KJ, Maslin K, Andrade J, Jones RB & Shawe J (2022) 'Mobile health as a primary mode of intervention for women at risk of, or diagnosed with, gestational diabetes mellitus' JBI Evidence Synthesis Publish Ahead of Print,
French RS, Shawe J, Tilouche N, Earle S, Grenfell P (2020) (Not) talking about fertility: the role of digital technologies and health services in helping plan pregnancy. A qualitative study BMJ SEXUAL && REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH     10.1136/bmjsrh-2020-200862 http://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/17947 
Grenfell P, Tilouche N, Shawe J, French RS (2021) Fertility and digital technology: narratives of using smartphone app ‘Natural Cycles’ while trying to conceive SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS Vol.43 Iss.1 10.1111/1467-9566.13199 http://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/17399 
Iyawa GE, Khan A, Dagadu S, Magtubo KM & Sievert RC (2019) 'Identifying the Components of a Smart Health Ecosystem for Asthma Patients: A Systematic Literature Review and Conceptual Framework' in Goyal D; Balamurugan S
Lam C, Milne-Ives M, Harrington R, Jani A, Helena van Velthoven M, Harding T & Meinert E (2022) 'Internet of things–Enabled technologies as an intervention for childhood obesity: A systematic review' PLOS Digital Health 1, (4),
Lam C, Milne-Ives M, Van Velthoven MH & Meinert E (2020) 'Internet of Things–Enabled Technologies for Weight Management in Children and Adolescents: Protocol for a Systematic Review' JMIR Research Protocols 9, (3) e16930-e16930,
McInroy, L. B., & Beer, O. W. J. (2020). Wands up! Internet-mediated social advocacy organizations and youth-oriented connective action. New Media & Society.
McInroy LB, Zapcic I & Beer OWJ (2021) 'Online fandom communities as networked counterpublics: LGBTQ+ youths’ perceptions of representation and community climate' Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 28, (3) 629-647, DOI
McInroy LB & Beer OWJ (2021) 'Adapting vignettes for internet-based research: eliciting realistic responses to the digital milieu' International Journal of Social Research Methodology 25, (3) 335-347, DOI
Milne-Ives M, Lam C & Meinert E (2021) 'Digital technologies for monitoring and improving treatment adherence in children and adolescents with asthma: A scoping review of randomised controlled trials' JMIR Public Health and Surveillance 4, (3),
Milne-Ives M, Neill S, Meinert E (2021) The impact of digital educational interventions to support parents caring for acutely ill children at home and factors that affect their use: systematic review protocol JMIR RESEARCH PROTOCOLS Vol.10 Iss.6 10.2196/27504 http://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/17040 
Stephenson J, Bailey JV, Blandford A, Brima N, Copas A, D’Souza P, Gubijev A, Hunter R, Shawe J, Rait G, Oliver S (2020) An interactive website to aid young women’s choice of contraception: feasibility and efficacy RCT HEALTH TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT Vol.24 Iss.56 10.3310/hta24560 [Online]
Van Velthoven MH, Milne-Ives M, de Cock C, Mooney M & Meinert E (2020) 'Use of Apps to Promote Childhood Vaccination: Protocol for a Systematic Review' JMIR Research Protocols 9, (2) e16929-e16929,

Telerehabilitation

Led by Professor Jennifer Freeman, staff from the Rehabilitation research group and CHT have developed a toolkit for health and social care practitioners, patients and carers to support the delivery of rehabilitation services via remote methods such as video-based and telephone. The Telerehab toolkit, which is funded by NIHR and UKRI, responded to both the decline in face-to-face input during the COVID-19 period and the need to support those recovering from the disease.

Recent publications

Anil K, Bird A, Bridgman K, Erickson S, Freeman J, McKinstry C, Robinson C and Abey S. Telehealth competencies for allied health professionals: A scoping review. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. Accepted August 2023, 
Buckingham SA, Anil K, Demain S, Gunn H, Jones RB, Kent B, Logan A, Marsden J, Playford ED & Freeman J (2022) 'Telerehabilitation for People With Physical Disabilities and Movement Impairment: A Survey of United Kingdom Practitioners' JMIRx Med 3, (1),
Buckingham S, Anil K, Demain S, Gunn H, Jones RB, Kent B, Logan A, Marsden J, Playford ED & Freeman J (2022) 'Telerehabilitation for people with physical disabilities and movement impairment: development and evaluation of an online toolkit for practitioners and patients' Disability and Rehabilitation 1-8,
Buckingham SA, Sein K, Anil K, Demain S, Gunn H, Jones RB, Kent B, Logan A, Marsden J & Playford ED (2022) 'Telerehabilitation for physical disabilities and movement impairment: A service evaluation in South West England' Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice,
Jones RB, Hubble S, Taylor L, Gunn H, Logan A, Rowland T, Bradwell H, Connolly LJ, Algie K & Anil K (2021) 'Technologies to Support Assessment of Movement During Video Consultations: Exploratory Study' JMIRx Med 2, (3),
Anil K, Freeman JA, Buckingham S, Demain S, Gunn H, Jones RB, Logan A, Marsden J, Playford D & Sein K (2021) 'Scope, context and quality of telerehabilitation guidelines for physical disabilities: a scoping review' BMJ Open 11, (8),
Feinstein A, Amato MP, Brichetto G, Chataway J, Chiaravalloti ND, Cutter G, Dalgas U, DeLuca J, Farrell R & Feys P (2021) 'The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on an international rehabilitation study in MS: the CogEx experience' Journal of Neurology,

Social care

Technology also offers opportunities to help people maintain independence and improve outcomes using tech enabled care as well as freeing up the time care workers spend on administration tasks for more face-to-face care and helping care providers to operate more efficiently. Several studies under the EPIC project explored the potential of often simple digital technologies to improve social interaction and reduce loneliness. The CHT team is also exploring the potential of introducing remote monitoring technologies into domiciliary and residential care.

Recent publications

Eaton, A., Scheadler, T. R., Bradley, C., McInroy, L. B., Beer, O. W. J., Beckwell, E., Busch, A., & Shuper, P. A. (2023). Identity development, attraction, and behaviour of heterosexually identified men who have sex with men: Scoping review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 12(184), 1-6.
McInroy LB, Beer OWJ, Scheadler TR, Craig SL & Eaton AD (2023). 'Exploring the psychological and physiological impacts of digital microaggressions and hostile online climates on LGBTQ + youth' Current Psychology
Link, K., Griffiths, A., Haughtigan, K., Beer, O. W. J., & Powell, L. (2023). Child welfare workforce health: Exploring stress, burnout, depression, and sleep during COVID-19. Child Welfare.
Phillips, R. J., Beer, O. W. J., & Maleku, A. (2023). Conceptualizing and operationalizing community resilience: A scoping review of the social and health sciences literature. Community Development.
McInroy, L. B, Beer, O. W. J., Scheadler, T. R., Craig, S. L., & Eaton, A. D. (2023). Exploring the psychological and physiological impacts of digital microaggressions and hostile online climates on LGBTQ + youth. Current Psychology, 1-24.
Griffiths, A., Link, K., Haughtigan, K., Beer, O. W. J., Powell, L., & Royse, D. (2023). Physiological evidence of escalating stress during COVID-19: a longitudinal assessment of child welfare workers. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 1-24.
Beer, O. W. J., Beaujolais, B., Wolf, K., G., Ibrahim, A., & Letson, M. M. (2023) How Children's Advocacy Centers law enforcement officers cope with work-related stress: impacts and approaches to self-care. Policing and Society.
Johnson-Motoyama, M., Ginther, D. K., Oslund, P., Jorgenson, L., Chung, Y., Phillips, R., Beer, O. W. J., Davis, S., & Sattler, P. L. (2022). Association Between State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Policies, Child Protective Services Involvement, and Foster Care in the US, 2004-2016. JAMA network open, 5(7), e2221509.
Johnson-Motoyama, M., Ginther, D. K., Phillips, R., Beer, O. W. J., Merkel-Holguin, L., & Fluke, J. (2022). Differential response and the reduction of child maltreatment and foster care services utilization in the U.S. from 2004 to 2017. Child Maltreatment.
Milne-Ives M, Shankar R, Goodley D, Lamb K, Laugharne R, Harding T & Meinert E (2022) 'Humanising health and social care support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Protocol for a scoping review' JMIR Research Protocols 11, (5),
McInroy LB & Beer OWJ (2021). 'Adapting vignettes for internet-based research: eliciting realistic responses to the digital milieu' International Journal of Social Research Methodology 25, (3) 335-347
McInroy, L. B., Zapcic, I., & Beer, O. W. J. (2021). Online Fandom Communities as Networked Counterpublics: LGBTQ+ Youths’ Perceptions of Representation and Community Climate. Convergence. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.
McInroy, L. B., & Beer, O. W. J. (2021). Adapting vignettes for online social science survey research: Eliciting realistic responses to the digital milieu. International Journal of Social Research Methodology.
Boyd, D. T., Quinn, C. R., Jones, K. V., & Beer, O. W. J. (2021). Suicidal ideations and Attempts Within the Family Context: The Role of Parent Support, Bonding, and Peer Experiences with Suicidal Behaviors. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.
Quinn, C. R., Beer, O. W. J., Boyd, D. T., Tirmazi, T., Nebbitt, V., & Joe, S. (2021). An assessment of the role of parental incarceration and substance misuse in suicidal planning of African American youth and young adults. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.
Edwards KJ, Jones RB, Shenton D, Page T, Maramba I, Warren A, Fraser F, Križaj T, Coombe T & Cowls H (2021) 'The Use of Smart Speakers in Care Home Residents: Implementation Study' Journal of Medical Internet Research 23, (12),
Zamir S, Allman F, Hennessy CH, Taylor AH, Jones RB (2021) Aesthetically Designing Video-Call Technology With Care Home Residents: A Focus Group Study FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY Vol.12     10.3389/fpsyg.2021.540048 http://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/17776 
Zamir S, Hennessy CH, Taylor AH, Jones RB (2021) Feasibility of school students Skyping care home residents to reduce loneliness COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR REPORTS     10.1016/j.chbr.2021.100053 http://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/17777 
Bradwell HL, Edwards K, Shenton D, Winnington R, Thill S & Jones RB (2021) 'User-Centered Design of Companion Robot Pets Involving Care Home Resident-Robot Interactions and Focus Groups With Residents, Staff, and Family: Qualitative Study' JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies 8, (4),
Bradwell HL, Johnson CW, Lee J, Winnington R, Thill S, Jones RB (2020) Microbial contamination and efficacy of disinfection procedures of companion robots in care homes PLOS ONE Vol.15 Iss.8 10.1371/journal.pone.0237069 http://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/16278 
Zamir S, Hennessy C, Taylor A, Jones R (2020) Intergroup ‘Skype’ Quiz Sessions in Care Homes to Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation in Older People GERIATRICS Vol.5 Iss.4 10.3390/geriatrics5040090 http://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/16837 

Dental care

Our dental researchers have an established collaboration with engineers in school on a robotics in dentistry group Privacy-preserving Robotics in DEntistry (University of Plymouth) and are co-hosting two PhD studentships, one a cybersecurity project and one a computer vision project. Visual analysis systems to detect and predict the signs of anxiety in dental care is another focus, as is the development of privacy preserving authentication for cloud robotics in smart dental systems. The group does work on machine learning in general. Due to a collaboration with the European Space Agency, which has provided both a server space and dedicated data scientists, complex systematic reviews involving human, animal and in-vitro studies are being run through machine learning. They are also working on building an AI and Robotics lab in Dentistry – a first for dental schools in the UK.