Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Health Informatics Research Lab

Swansea University have launched a research laboratory, which will help find innovative new ways of treating patients, by simulating a range of healthcare settings experienced by patients so that innovative new technology can be tested before being introduced.

The laboratory aims to:
* use the latest technology to evaluate new ideas and treatment methods and work with current computer systems in the NHS to identify ways to further join up services to improve care for patients;
* bring together researchers, clinicians, and commercial companies to find innovations in healthcare;
* capitalise on existing knowledge and skills at Swansea University and in the NHS and develop Wales' knowledge-based economy;
* provide opportunities for Welsh healthcare companies to develop their skills and products; and
* enable new innovations to be shared with other health services across the UK and the world.

If the lab really can test out and evaluate information systems, in a realistic environment, ensuring that they meet "clinicians' requirements and ensure that they are satisfactory for the safe delivery of patient care", then the potential benefits will be significant & it may help to avoid some delays and errors which have occurred elsewhere.

I should declare an interest as I'm the external examiner for the MSc Health Informatics at Swansea and hope the students on that course will get the opportunity to use these facilities, but I hope that it will have benefits for health informatics and health services, not just in Wales but also more widely.


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