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'Smart' technology can be useful and easily accommodated into homes and lifestyles
'Smart' technology can be useful and easily accommodated into homes and lifestyles

Press Release - 09 June 2008

Public workshop – technical solutions to long-term health conditions

A number of leading experts will come together in Bath to talk about how their work in health and technology helps people deal with long-term conditions, and to show real evidence of how people are benefiting. The public workshop will be held at the University of Bath between 9.45am-4.35pm, on 30 June in 3 West North.

The workshop, entitled: Technologies for health, rehabilitation & self-management of long-term conditions will bring together established international experts in technology and care, with members of a new generation of researchers who are also making their mark.

Professor Roger Orpwood, Director of the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, who will demonstrate his independent living devices for the elderly, such as user-friendly CD players, said: “Technology has an important role to play in enabling older and disabled people remain in their own home, with independence, dignity, and improved quality of life.”

The workshop will showcase a range of current research projects in the field of assisted technology, including:

• A presentation by researchers in the new Centre for Pain Research at the University of Bath. The presentation will look at self-management of long-term conditions such as strokes, pain and heart disease. The team are developing 'smart' technology that can be useful and easily accommodated into homes and lifestyles.

• There will be a talk on ‘machine mediated therapy’ by Dr Farshid Amirabdollahian, an expert on robotics from the University of Salford. This technique uses ‘Haptic interfaces’ to improve the outcome of stroke patients engaged on rehabilitation for upper limb motor impairment. Haptic interfaces are a particular group of robots that are able to safely interact with humans. They can enhance traditional tools, provide therapy on-demand and can present accurate objective measurements of a patient's progression.

• There will also be a talk on the work of design-and-development charity Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, whose electrical and mechanical design engineers work on a large number of projects including cuddly robots. These ‘mental commitment robots’ are designed to provide three effects: psychological (relaxation and motivation), physiological (improvement in vital signs) and social (spawning communication between patients and caregivers). These concepts have been proven with animal therapy.

The workshop is open to the public and free of charge. Please register in advance at on the SPARC website, see under Related links for details.

The event will also be of interest to policy makers and practitioners in health, social and housing services, charitable and voluntary organisations and people who live with long-term conditions. It will provide networking opportunities and a chance to inform, promote and develop sharing and collaboration between all sectors.

The workshop will be structured yet informal, offering plenty of opportunity to meet others, to share experiences and offer viewpoints and challenges. There will also be poster displays and stands which celebrate the broad range of rehabilitation and technical solutions research conducted locally.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: