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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W031558/1
Title: Intelligent Sensing to Promote Self-management of Posture and Mobility in Community Dwelling Individuals
Principal Investigator: Worsley, Dr P R
Other Investigators:
Jiang, Professor L Sadler, Dr E Kent, Professor B
Latour, Professor J Bader, Professor DL Filingeri, Dr D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Medstrom Ltd UK Clinical Research Network
Department: Sch of Health Sciences
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2022 Ends: 30 September 2025 Value (£): 854,930
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioelectronic Devices Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Feb 2022 SI Transform health at home Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There are many situations where an individual will spend prolonged periods in their bed or chair, often observed in community settings where individuals may have impaired mobility. In many cases, individuals, carers and care providers are not alerted to periods of prolonged immobility. This results in poor self-management and limit access to care support to promote movement. A potential consequence of these prolonged periods of sitting or lying are pressure ulcers, often termed bed sores, which can develop into wounds which are painful and can take a long time to heal. This has a significant impact on the quality of life for the individual effected and is an indicator of patient safety and quality of care.

The applicants represent a team of scientists, clinicians, care providers and industry collaborators who have been working with technologies to monitor individuals whilst lying and sitting. Over the last seven years they have successfully used commercial continuous pressure monitors in community and hospital healthcare settings to evaluate movement patterns over prolonged periods. Through monitoring pressures between the individual and their cushion or mattress they have been able to effectively communicate when they have been less mobile. The technology has also been used to improve the type of cushion or mattress they use to support their health. This has helped individuals understand the risks of being less mobile and supported them to self-manage through regular repositioning and cooperation in care.

However, the team identified a number of challenges with existing commercial pressure monitoring devices, which were originally designed for hospital settings. These include:

- their cost,

- the complexity of sensors,

- how robust they are to prolonged community use

- how the pressure monitoring data is stored and used to help individuals, carers and service providers in the community

The proposed project will involve the development of a new sensing system and display which is purposefully designed for community residents. This will be achieved through the principles of co-production, which means working together with patients and the public, service providers and industry partners on a fit for purpose solution. The project has been designed to maximise the input from those who will be using the technology, where innovation must fit around the end user. The project has been divided into work packages to achieve the following:

1. A service provider and industry led set of design criteria for the new pressure monitor and user display

2. A person led evaluation of the new device involving patient and public involvement and engagement

3. An assessment of the device in use within community settings, including private homes, residential care and nursing homes.

The final system will be designed to be low cost, easily integrated to chairs/beds and have a user-friendly display. Through monitoring of posture and mobility we aim to promote self-management through prompts and alerts. Data will also be shared with care service providers, so timely interventions can be made to prevent illness or injury which may otherwise have resulted in hospitalisation.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk