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Health and Digital Technology

The Healthy Later Living Network aims to promote digital inclusion and harness the benefits of technology for health and wellbeing.

The Importance of Digital Technology for Health and Wellbeing

Proliferation of digital technology offers many opportunities to improve the lives of older adults; however, older people can sometimes be excluded from this due to lack of skills, confidence, equipment and data.

A medical professional helping an elderly woman with a smart phone

The Centre for Ageing Better estimates that there are around 5 million people over the age of 55 who are not online in the UK. This can mean that people are missing out on seeking job opportunities, accessing healthcare and financial support, and connecting with organisations, friends and family. The Healthy Later Living Network aims to address these issues through collaborative research with service users and key stakeholders.

Our research

Our research exploring health and digital technology.

Our research interests that explore this theme include:

  • Artificial Intelligence and healthcare
  • Diagnostics for care and home settings
  • Robotics and intelligent systems for healthy later living
  • Technology to prevent and mitigate loneliness and promote social connections
  • Digital inclusion
  • Assistive technology
  • Biosensors, biodevices and biotechnology
  • Wearable technologies
  • Virtual reality
  • Online harm and data security

Our projects

Our projects from the Healthy Later Living Network relating to health and digital technology.

University of Bath research projects currently exploring this theme are:

Evaluating the use of remote consultations in secondary care
Academics from the Department for Health are working on a project with the Royal United Hospital in Bath to look at remote consultations in Gerontology. As health services move towards greater use of remote consultations as part of standard care, understanding staff experience, as well as that of patients, is important for the changes to be positive steps for patients, and clinicians.

Improving balance in older adults using virtual reality
Researchers at the University who have been investigating how virtual reality (VR) can help improve balance believe this technology could be a valuable tool in the prevention of falls. More on this project.

Using EEG tests for early Alzheimer’s diagnosis
Psychologists from the University have developed a revolutionary approach to early Alzheimer's diagnosis. This innovative research involves participants viewing a series of flashing pictures on a computer, whilst wearing an EEG cap which measures their brainwave activity. This technique is called Fastball EEG, and is cheap, portable and involves pre-existing technology, which will be readily available in hospitals. More on this project.

Use of technology to tackle loneliness among older people
We are working with the Wales Centre for Public Policy to carry out research looking at the use of technology to tackle loneliness among older people during the coronavirus pandemic. The aim of the project is to provide Welsh Government Ministers with access to independent authoritative expertise and evidence relating to the use of technology to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic which will inform policy and practice in Wales.

Our academics

Academic staff from many disciplines across the University of Bath are engaged in research which impacts Healthy Later Living.

The following academics are involved in this research theme:

See our team page for a full list.

Placing users at the heart of our network

Ben Metcalfe, Ben Ainsworth and Leen Jabban talk about a recent collaboration between the Department of Psychology and the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering to bring users in the design process for new prosthetic limbs.

Contact us

If you would like more information about the work we are doing and how to get involved please get in touch.