New technologies designed to improve the everyday lives of chronically ill people will be the focus of a major project at the University of Ulster.
The university’s School of Computing and Mathematical Science will look at how technology can assist in rehabilitating patients after a debilitating illness and help them to cope with the long-term effects of their condition.
The project, called SMART (Self Management supported by Assistive, Rehabilitation and Telecare Technologies), has been awarded almost £600,000 by the EPSRC over the next four years.
Stroke will be the first condition to be investigated by the research team. A stroke can leave people temporarily or permanently disabled, and the SMART team will look at how software and sensor-based systems can be used to allow them to manage their own rehabilitation programme at home, with remote monitoring carried out by a therapist.
Other areas to be investigated will include long-term pain management and coping with the effects of heart failure.
The final phase of the project will involve the home-based testing of technologies by patients from each of the three target groups.