UCD researcher wins 2015 Google Wearables in Healthcare Pilot Challenge

Professor Brian Caulfield, a leading University College Dublin (UCD) connected health researcher, has won the 2015 Google Wearables in Healthcare Pilot Challenge.

The Challenge, organised by Medstro in partnership with MedTech Boston and Google, took place at the end of last week at Google’s Cambridge headquarters, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Professor Caulfield won the challenge with his pitch on leveraging the sensing and computing capability of mobile phones to underpin a comprehensive rehabilitation support platform for patients undergoing elective orthopaedic surgery.

His wearable mobile support for orthopaedic rehabilitation provides real-time feedback on rehab exercises and activities in addition to making some of the exercises more game-like.

The focus of Professor Caulfield’s research programme in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science is on exploiting technological advances to enhance human performance in the fields of connected health and sport. Professor Caulfield is also Dean of Physiotherapy at UCD and is a Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.

Professor Caulfield said, “I am delighted to have won the prestigious 2015 Google Wearables in Healthcare Pilot Challenge. Winning this challenge will help to validate our solution of using the sensors in smartphones to assist people undergoing orthopaedic rehabilitation.”

He added, “Our idea addresses the unmet needs that patients and clinicians cite as the major challenges to successful rehabilitation outcome and satisfaction with care. By using a mobile phone as a sensing device, we are removing the need to purchase additional sensing hardware to provide patients with a solution to their problems, with all the associated costs that this involves.”

He concluded, “I would like to thank Enterprise Ireland who funded our research under the Commercialisation Fund which provides a really focus on developing commercial outputs which can gain traction in the marketplace.”

Professor Caulfield was one of 10 finalists, selected from 90 entry submissions, who delivered a pitch to a team of judges on proposed uses for wearables not yet integrated into the healthcare system, followed by a question and answer session.