MDU develops new technical solutions to improve healthcare
In MDU’s ESS-H and ESS-H+ research profiles, new technical solutions have been developed that eventually will influence both the health of individuals and health and medical care in general. The sensor systems that have been developed can help to follow health trends in people with various types of chronic diseases, find early deterioration and insert preventative measures at an early stage.
The starting point has been actual needs of users and the goal of the sensor systems is to be able to follow health trends, make diagnoses early, provide support for prevention and prevent diseases. Through sensor systems, health monitoring can be conducted regardless of time and place, for example in the home.
“The systems provide a good overview of the user’s state of health. The solutions meet real needs and the usability of the systems can be continually checked with the users,” says Maria Lindén, Professor of Health technologies specialising in medical sensor systems at MDU.
The goal of the sensor systems is to create health benefits for users and the acceptance of the systems is an important component.
“The aim is to develop systems that can monitor parameters such as ECG, breathing and blood sugar levels and provide feedback to patients, healthcare workers or relatives.”
Provides safety in the home environment for the elderly and sick
Important diseases which the systems focus on are diabetes, heart disease, asthma and COPD. The collection of data can either be used to provide immediate feedback or be a tool for long-term trend monitoring.
“Sensor systems that monitor the state of health in the home environment create security for the elderly and sick and constitute an important tool in medical care. Through close business cooperation, the research results can be integrated into new products and be made available to more people,” says Maria Lindén.
Several products close to commercialisation
This is a prioritised area. In accordance with Vision E-healthLink to another website. External link. Sweden will be the best in the world by 2025 in using digitalisation and e-health to make it easier for people to achieve good and fair health and welfare. In the "The value of digital technology in Swedish healthcare” report, remote monitoring with sensor systems is estimated to provide cost savings of SEK 29 billion annually in the Swedish medical care system. But there are challenges,” Maria Lindén points out.
“When we develop technology that is classified as medical equipment, the path from idea and prototype to used product takes longer than in regular technological development. Before the technology can be introduced and used, several rules must be met and extensive tests be conducted.”
Maria says that there are currently products in the pipeline that are close to commercialisation.
“We have several patents, both in the research environment and among our corporate partners. One example is the sub-project concerning microwave imaging, which aims to develop an alternative way to detect breast tumours. The researchers have several patents here and a company has been established.”
Collaboration between academia, healthcare and companies
The ESS-H and ESS-H+ research profiles have been running for nine and a half years in collaboration with academia, healthcare and companies, supported by the Knowledge Foundation (KK Stiftelsen). In addition to the research profiles at MDU, 10 companies are included, as well as regions and municipalities. Earlier this year ESS-H+ was listed on the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences’ 100 list (IVA). External link. of research projects in Sweden that are judged to have great potential to benefit society.