SHARE backs £2.5m project aiming to address country’s health inequality challenges
20th October 2023
Insight provided by the Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE) is supporting a new multi-million-pound project that will aim to address vital health inequality challenges across the country
The multi-partner study is to be led by Heriot-Watt University and the University of Dundee in collaboration with NHS Tayside.
The £2.5 million Accelerating Impact of Community healthCarE in Tayside (AICCET) project funded by UKRI is set to target areas of health inequality through new medical technologies developed by project partners across Scotland, helping to shift the focus of treatments away from large hospitals and into more accessible community settings such as GP surgeries or patients’ own homes.
AICCET has been designed in partnership with Dundee City Council, NHS Tayside, and five Scottish universities.
The project is being further supported by Scottish Enterprise, InnoScot Health, and SHARE, an initiative of NHS Research Scotland which has established a register of over 300,000 people across Scotland interested in participating in health research.
Colin Palmer, Professor of Pharmacogenomics at the University of Dundee and SHARE Director, said: “This project has vast potential to transform healthcare outcomes across Scotland for years to come and gather valuable information on how the country can successfully transition to a more community-based model of care.
“However, it needs research experience and expertise in order to do so, and that is where we can offer significant benefit. The comprehensive SHARE registry is ample proof of what can be achieved in Scotland, providing a strong, and rapidly expanding, resource of participants interested in being part of shaping healthcare of the future.”
AICCET is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's Place-based Impact Acceleration Account (PBIAA), part of UK Research and Innovation.
Experts from Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering and Physical Science, Dundee's School of Science and Engineering and School of Medicine, NHS Tayside Innovation and Dundee City Council, will work with counterparts from the University of St Andrews, Edinburgh Napier University, and the University of Glasgow, to identify the viability and challenges of delivering such a transition, all whilst maintaining or improving levels of patient care.
Another crucial aspect of the project will be cooperation with industry partners, which will be needed to ensure that mass manufacturing of technology can be provided should successful outcomes be identified.
Professor Brian McKinstry from the University of Edinburgh and SHARE Director said: “SHARE believes that it can play an important role in achieving AICCET’s patient-centred innovation aims, with the capturing of vital information on individual patient and other stakeholder needs central to the co-creation of progressive healthcare solutions.
“We are highly experienced in proactively engaging and recruiting a wide spread of participants for rapid response projects.
“Fast, accurate data from suitable participants will underpin the success of the whole enterprise and diverse Tayside is a perfect location to do that. We look forward to collaborating with all involved and making a difference to the future of Scotland’s health.”
Professor Iain McInnes Vice-Principal and Head of College University of Glasgow SHARE Director said: “We are passionate about our involvement in this project as we believe it is important to allow patients to be more involved in their own healthcare, informing decisions made on their particular needs, as well as wider NHS solutions, and therefore aligning with SHARE’s ethos of patients helping to shape future healthcare by their involvement in vital research.
“AICCET is an important opportunity to embed patient-led technology that is tested and meets the needs of the health service, with the ultimate aim being to identify approaches to accelerating the impact of community healthcare throughout Tayside for the benefit of all patients."
Heriot-Watt’s Professor Marc Desmulliez explained: “During their rehabilitation after an invasive surgery, patients may have to carry out some exercises to aid in their recovery. A healthcare solution could be a system that records and monitors the exercise. The essential information is then sent to the surgeon who is in charge to make sure the patient is progressing as planned. This could mean that if the patient is on track, they might not need to go to hospital for a check-up because the doctor has already seen the progress being made.”
SHARE has over 300,000 registrants who are all willing to help shape future healthcare. In addition, there are over 100,000 samples of blood in the biobank, and these are being used for various genetic biomarker studies to help with early detection of diseases and manufacture of new medications.
Anyone over the age of 11 can register to SHARE and you will always be contacted first and asked for permission before your details are passed to a researcher. Over 160 studies have used SHARE for recruitment and the most important ones recently have been the vaccine studies.