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Design for Health Launches The Programme's First Interdisciplinary Projects


Design for Health (D4H) is a collaborative programme between Brunel University and several NHS Trusts, led by Dr Gabriella Spinelli. The programme consists of researching and developing interventions to respond to clinical challenges. Responding to problems identified by NHS colleagues, students and academics work together to identify possible solutions. D4H has delivered more than 80 projects and has led to UKRI grants, patents, publications and Innovation awards.

This year, for the first time, D4H has launched interdisciplinary challenges in collaboration with the NHS, med-tech start-ups and across Colleges in the University. Whilst traditionally D4H has included Design students only, in 2023 the programme has enrolled students from Physiotherapy and Computer Science, in addition to Design students, and has led to teams of academics from different departments jointly supervising Undergraduate and Master students. Through projects that have interdisciplinary research expertise and include students with diverse skills and interest, D4H at BPACHS can respond more comprehensively to clinical challenges.

The five challenges taken up this year are:

  1. The design of a Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Sleeve for Stroke Rehabilitation within a VR environment, with CardioCrow
  2. Accelerating the Referral to NHS Talking Therapies Portal, with Central & North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust
  3. Improving communication for hard-of-hearing in-patients, with Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
  4. Monitoring electrolytes remotely: adoption considerations, product design and care pathway development, with Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
  5. Innovating the education of intimate examination with the design and development of a clinical simulation device, with Advanced Clinical Practice (Pelvic Health) faculty team.

All projects have started and expected completion is May 2024.

For further information about Design for Health please contact Gabriella Spinelli, Director of Innovation and Digital Health at BPACH at