The future of Health is Digital – we urgently need new technologies for understanding, preventing, diagnosing and managing illnesses that affect millions of people, such as diabetes, depression and dementia.
This unique multidisciplinary PhD programme brings together students from health and life sciences, computer science, design and engineering. It is creating a new generation of innovators who understand how smartphone apps, wearables & smart homes can support decision-making by health professionals and help a patient manage their own health.
This unique Centre will be housed in purpose-built, newly-refurbished lab space adjacent to Bristol Cathedral. The taught first year is specially designed to bridge the disciplinary gaps, to explain how technology is designed to work within healthcare systems such as the NHS and to introduce students to a more than 20 external partners in the programme – including charities, community groups, small health start-ups, large technology companies, NHS organisations and multi-national pharmaceutical companies. The Centre partner organisations include Microsoft Research, Arm, Pfizer, Toshiba and AstraZeneca.
After this first year, the students undertake a 3 year research project, supervised by one of the 60 academics in the supervisory network across four Bristol faculties and in close collaboration with one or more external partners. These projects make use of expertise and facilities supported by some £30M of digital health research at the University since 2013.
Digital technologies, such as smartphone apps, wearables, blood sugar monitors – and Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart home systems (e.g. Echo), smart meters and connected appliances - offer an unprecedented opportunity to collect health-related data.
The NHS and many other healthcare organisations take the view that with the data processed by artificial intelligence these digital technologies will deliver decision support to health and care professionals; predict or detect a patient’s symptoms worsening; support independent living; optimise the use of medication and other therapies.
This Centre is unique in the UK and has the responsibility to nurture national leadership that will span this hugely multidisciplinary space – the Centre’s graduates will combine technological depth with broad appreciation of the health landscape. They will also combine empathy with the patient’s needs with an understanding of the new business models that will be needed in the introduction of these technologies.
Throughout the Centre’s PhD programme the students will be encouraged to be ambitious to accelerate the pace of innovation, but will also be challenged to think more broadly about the role of disruptive new technologies in health – they will be trained and experienced in ethics, inclusivity, regulation, data security and privacy.
Click on the Apply Online button below and select ‘PhD Digital Health and Care’ on the Programme Choice page.
Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of an upper-second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline. This can be EITHER a STEM-related discipline (e.g. computer science, engineering) OR a health-related discipline (e.g. life sciences, medicine, health sciences, psychology, neuroscience, nursing or an allied health profession).
Enhanced EPSRC studentships covering fees and living costs are available to UK / EU students (subject to eligibility requirement on-line).