On October 27, researchers from technical and medical faculties gathered with clinical experts to discuss solutions for the challenges of rehabilitation care. The aim of the meeting was to facilitate the establishment of new interdisciplinary research collaborations, to ultimately make everyday life easier for patients with complex disabilities. The initiative was taken by Chalmers Health Engineering Area of Advance, the Innovation Platform, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sahlgrenska Academy, the University of Borås, and MedTech West.
”The hospital has a clear ambition to strengthen cooperation with academia and industry for joint development. Within this work, it´s important to consider the entire patientjourney through health care. Now we are focusing on rehabilitation. Many patients have complex disabilities, and we all need to contribute to come up with new solutions for making their everyday lives easier. It´s also important to involve more of all the professional categories at the hospital, which is what we do at this workshop”, says Åsa Sand, Area Manager at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and one of the initiators of the meeting.
Chalmers researchers want to understand needs and present opportunities
”For Chalmers researchers, it´s crucial to find close partners who understand the needs of the patients. We also want to present the technological opportunities and methods that are available, which can be utilised to achieve a faster and better rehabilitation. We hope to identify further needs, and at the same time create even more contact areas between our organizations, for the benefit of both healthcare and research”, says Martin Fagerström, Co-director of Chalmers Health Engineering Area of Advance (pictured above).
Sabine Reinfeldt, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Signals and Systems at Chalmers, talked about the possibilities of bone conduction of sound for improved hearing aids.
Joint workshops to contribute to improved health care and quality of life
Collaboration between health care and engineering is becoming increasingly important. Cecilia Hahn Berg, life science strategist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, emphasizes that collaboration is the key for moving forward.
“This workshop is an example of how the hospital, Chalmers and the University of Borås are taking on challenges that we can´t handle on our own, but that can be solved when we work together. We try to arrange joint workshops on various relevant topics a couple of times a year, and it has worked out well. The previous one, in September, was about image processing, diagnostics and AI. The purpose of all the workshops is to contribute to even better care and increased quality of life for our patients.”
Anders Hyltander, life science strategist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, points out that it´s important for the hospital to describe the patients´ needs, as that enables technical solutions which address the right challenges.
“Before this workshop, we gathered clinical and research needs that the hospital would like to be met to further develop and improve the work with rehabilitation of our patients. From the perspective of the hospital, it has been very valuable to be able to describe concrete and important clinical needs, and thereby hopefully be able to guide the technology researchers in those directions.”
Text: Lisa Snäll, Sahlgrenska University Hospital