Aston University Engineering Academy Visit

12 December 2016

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Physiotherapist Rachel Moeini lends her experience to discussions about the design of crutches.

Student Visit

Trauma HTC are committed to act as a catalyst for NHS “pull’’ for the development of new medical devices, healthcare technologies and technology-dependent interventions. Encouraging new talent to enter the world of medical devices is one way to accelerate this process.

In light of this, Trauma HTC and University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) are collaborating with Aston University Engineering Academy to show their students how engineers can bring innovation to the NHS. Together they have set up two projects for students to work on: one to redesign blood pressure cuffs and another to redesign crutches. Both projects will have the students consider how to improve the devices’ usability, comfort and safety for both patients and clinicians.

Students from the Academy visited the the hospital in December to speak to nurses who regularly use these devices and learn more about their experiences using them. The students also showed the staff their current ideas for feedback on what could be done to improve them. It was also a chance for them to learn more about medical device research, ergonomic design and careers in medical engineering. The visit highlighted the importance of including as many groups as possible in design of new devices including clinicians and patients.

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Ergonomics and Human Factors Adviser Frances Ives discusses human centred design to students.

Work Experience

Trauma HTC and UHB will also be providing work experience to interested Aston University Engineering Academy students in early 2017. Students will work with the engineering department at UHB to see how the trust makes sure that their devices are up-to-date and safe to use, as well as how the use of medical devices is co-ordinated across the trust using cutting edge technology.  They will also work with the Trauma HTC to understand the research and development side of medical devices, exploring how the team helps develop new ideas and innovations through collaboration with industry, academics and clinicians.