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  The Sheffield Children’s Hospital/Insigneo Institute for In Silico Medicine PhD Programme in Digital Health: Digital Healthcare at Home


   School of Medicine and Population Health

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  Prof JM Wild, Dr Paul Dimitri  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Supervisor(s): Professor Jim Wild (representing a team of potential supervisors from Insigneo) and Professor Paul Dimitri (representing a team of potential supervisors from SCH)

Sheffield Children’s Hospital, the NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Cooperative and the Insigneo Institute for In Silico Medicine at the University of Sheffield are recruiting up to 4 PhD studentships in Paediatric Digital Healthcare Technology, this PhD is specifically looking at Digital Healthcare at Home.

Successful applicants will work together in a pioneering cross-disciplinary programme alongside patients, families, clinicians, engineers, computer scientists and other experts to develop new digital platforms and technologies that can address unmet needs in child health. This research will focus on paediatric clinical care pathways and span the Insigneo research themes of Healthcare Data, Artificial Intelligence and Smart Devices and Sensors. It will develop the concepts of Digital Twins, Digital Wards, Digital Healthcare at Home and Advanced Healthcare Communication in paediatric real life healthcare settings with Sheffield Children’s Hospital and in collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Each project will follow three stages.

Stage 1

Each project will work with clinicians, patients and families in a series of workshops to identify a specific clinical problem in disease areas such as respiratory disease, neurology, musculoskeletal disease and mental health that could be improved by capture and transfer of digital data from current or newly developed sensors and other technologies used by the patient and or their family at home and in daily life.

Stage 2

Projects will then work with academic teams of engineers and industrial partners to develop prototype technologies required to obtain the data identified in Stage 1 and the secure IT and telecommunication infrastructure required to present the data to the patient/family and the clinical team. Iterative co-design will optimise technology and interface design.

Stage 3

Once technologies and digital infrastructures are established, projects will work with patients/families and clinicians to design novel care pathways that use the data generated to; a) optimise frequency of remote or in-person clinical review b) alter treatment decisions c) create efficient healthcare delivery with minimal intrusion.

Successful completion will lead to functional data capture and exchange platforms and a proposed clinical pathway for each clinical problem and its technological solution. These will be at the point of readiness for follow on clinical studies testing their ability to improve outcomes such as patient/family satisfaction, patient-reported outcomes, reduction of hospital visits/admissions, and clinical outcomes compared with current standard-of-care.

Applicants must be highly motivated, adaptable, willing to learn skills from a wide range of areas and able to work in a cross-disciplinary team. Applications are welcomed from a wide range of disciplines including engineering, computer science, healthcare professions and other backgrounds. A practical interest in the integration of digital healthcare data from both bespoke sensors and ubiquitous smart devices with specific computational infrastructure is needed. An upper second class degree at undergraduate level is required and previous experience in research is desirable.

Each project’s supervisory team will include one clinician from Sheffield Children’s Hospital and up to two academic members of the Insigneo Institute, University of Sheffield. Supervisors will be allocated to suit the specifics of the research and may change from those stated.

Entry Requirements:

Candidates must have a first or upper second class honours degree or significant research experience. A practical interest in the integration of digital healthcare data from both bespoke sensors and ubiquitous smart devices with specific computational infrastructure is needed.

The ideal student will have:

  • Academic Background: Applicants should have a strong academic background in a relevant discipline such as engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, healthcare, or another related field.
  • Research Experience: Applicants should have prior research experience, ideally in a related area. This could include experience gained through previous research projects, internships, or work experience.
  • Interdisciplinary Skills: The PhD program requires working in a highly interdisciplinary environment, so applicants should have strong interdisciplinary skills and be able to work well with people from different backgrounds and disciplines.
  • Technical Skills: Applicants should have good technical skills, including knowledge of programming languages, software tools, and statistical analysis techniques. They should also have a good understanding of digital technologies and their potential applications in healthcare.
  • Communication Skills: Applicants should have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. They should be able to explain their research clearly and effectively to a range of audiences, including healthcare professionals, patients, and other stakeholders.
  • Motivation and Enthusiasm: Applicants should be highly motivated and enthusiastic about the research area and have a strong interest in making a meaningful contribution to child health.
  • Eligibility: Applicants should meet the eligibility requirements for PhD study at the University of Sheffield. This typically includes having a good undergraduate degree and meeting the English language proficiency requirements

How to apply:

Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form available here: www.shef.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply

Please clearly state the prospective main supervisor in the respective box and select (Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease) as the department.

Enquiries:

Pre-application and informal enquiries accompanied by a CV are encouraged to Sarah Black (Insigneo Administrative Manager) [Email Address Removed]

Funding: Funding for these PhDs is provided by the NIHR Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust as part of their Paediatric Excellence Initiative. The NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital BRC (GOSH BRC) is a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital and the University College London (UCL) Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH). Now it’s in its fourth 5-year term, as part of a wider national collaboration - a BRC National Paediatric Excellence Initiative has been set up between GOSH BRC and children’s hospitals in Birmingham, Sheffield and Liverpool. GOSH BRC’s aim is to transform the health of children, and the adults they will become, by combining cutting edge research methods with world-leading clinical trial expertise, to accelerate discovery of new treatments for children with rare and complex conditions.

Computer Science (8) Mathematics (25) Medicine (26) Nursing & Health (27)

Funding Notes

Salary/stipend rate:
• The UKRI doctoral stipend for 2022/23 - £17,668 full time equivalent per annum
• Project expenses – up to £500 per annum
• Home student tuition fees will be covered. Overseas students will be required to cover the financial shortfall between home and overseas student fees.
Proposed start date: 1st October 2023

Where will I study?