New £1m research project to explore digital future of blood testing

Study will look at potential for remote blood testing and the impact of digital technologies

The study will explore the options for the future of blood testing in community health services. Image by Annett Klingner at Pixabay

A £1m research network project to explore the potential for remote blood testing and digital technologies is set to help address challenges in community health and care.

Dr Vicky Weizi Li from Henley Business School at the University of Reading is leading the project, titled Future blood testing for inclusive monitoring and personalised analytics Network+.

The proposed Network+ will build an interdisciplinary community to explore future blood testing solutions to enable remote, faster, affordable, more-inclusive, and personalised blood monitoring and analytics.

The network will address three key technical challenges in blood testing: remote monitoring and point of care devices; ICT and data connectivity; and personalised data analytics and AI, in a range of exemplar clinical areas.

This comes as there is very-high demand for lab-based blood tests from community settings in the UK and analysis suggests an important role in the future for remote blood monitoring and personal analytics.

This would enable patients and health professionals to carry out their own tests remotely, greatly benefiting patients and speeding up decision-making.

Dr Li is the principal investigator for the research, with co-investigators from University of Southampton, University of Warwick, University of Nottingham, and the University of Kent.

Project partners include six NHS hospitals as well as international universities and private companies.

The research is majority funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) with a grant contribution of £800,898 and a final project cost on the grant offer of over £1m. p> Dr Li said: “This grant will enable us to build a community to address multi-disciplinary challenges focused on computational science, engineering and physical science, as well as medical and social science, to achieve the vision of future blood testing.

“The three key research areas together will eventually enable new digital systems to support real-time blood monitoring, self-management, and timely intervention, where we will co-develop real-world applications with our clinical and commercial partners.”

The three-year project is due to start in September.

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