12 October 2022

Sheffield Hospitals staff recognised at innovation awards

Three innovative ideas and technologies developed by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff are to be showcased at a top regional awards scheme which recognises the talents of NHS staff today (Wednesday 12th October).

The technologies, which are finalists in the prestigious Medipex NHS Innovation Awards, include a digital health learning system helping patients with cystic fibrosis manage their condition better, a foot pressure measurement quality assurance device, and a cardiac MRI system which automatically measures how well the heart’s main pumping chamber is functioning.

The CFHealthHub was developed by a research team led by Dr Martin Wildman, a Consultant in Respiratory Medicine and Adult Cystic Fibrosis at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and is one of five finalists in the ‘Improved Therapies, Therapies and Rehabilitation’ category. The digital learning system is in use in three-fifths of adult cystic fibrosis centres across the UK, and uses a Bluetooth-enabled nebuliser to help people manage their condition better by providing them with critical information in real time.

A team of scientists and cardiac imaging specialists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield are in contention for the ‘Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Patient Services and/or Safety’ award for developing an artificial intelligence tool which measures the function of the heart.

Using their technical and clinical knowledge, the team trained a computer to recognise the complex chambers of the heart. Once able to recognise images of the heart, the tool automatically measures heart function without the need for doctors and cardiac MRI staff to undertake lengthy analysis and detailed mathematical calculations in a 3D lab - which usually takes days.

The system, which gives immediate results that are critical in diagnosis and treatment-making decisions, has been shown to have a high degree of accuracy, and was developed by Dr Andy Swift, Dr Kavita Karunasagaraar and Dr Samer Alabed and clinical scientist Dr Pete Metherall at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in collaboration with world-leading computer scientist from Leiden University Dr Rob Van Der Geest.

Clinical scientist Chris Pearce, along with scientist and engineering colleagues, has been successfully nominated for developing a foot pressure measurement quality assurance device in the ‘Delivering Benefits through Diagnosis and Screening’ category. Foot pressure mats are used in foot clinics to measure the forces going through the feet as people go about their daily activities such as walking and running.

The new device checks the mats are accurately measuring by applying a known pressure to regions of the mat which avoids the need for clinical teams to undertake random spot checks or send mats back to the manufacturer, which can be costly.

Professor Wendy Tindale OBE, Director of Innovation at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said:

“We have a long and proud history of pioneering new research and innovation that can be adopted for wider patient benefit. We are delighted that the talents of our scientific and clinical teams in identifying and looking for solutions for healthcare problems have been recognised in this prestigious regional awards scheme.”

The awards are to be held virtually this afternoon (Wednesday 12 October).



1)The Bluetooth-enabled controller and nebuliser used in the CFHealthHub
2) A photo showing the results of the AI cardiac MRI imaging system developed by scientists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Claudia Blake, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Senior Communications Specialist
Tel: 07799478205
Email: claudia.blake@nhs.net



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