Technological developments play a vital role in enhancing patient treatments and thus sustain and improve the health of the population. Advanced Technologies are developing rapidly and will continue to have major impacts on healthcare and patient outcomes. An interdisciplinary approach in technological innovation is essential to both the effective and accelerated translation of novel treatments to the clinic, for improved patient outcomes and quality of life.
Health technologies theme is developing a collaborative network of research active academics and health practitioners focused on solutions to health related problems. Four sub-themes are being developed as the institute is being established. These themes are:
- Health Innovation Portal
- Centre for Diseased Tissue Characterisation
- eHealth / Connected Health
- Research Degree Awards
Theme Lead - Pepijn van de Ven
Pepijn van de Ven is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, at the University of Limerick (UL). Pepijn received an MSc in Electronic Engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) in 2000. He subsequently worked for Philips Research Laboratories investigating new RF front-ends for 3G handsets. In 2002 Pepijn obtained an IRCSET award to pursue a PhD at UL on the ‘Identification and Control of Marine Vehicles Using Artificial Intelligence Techniques’. After finishing his PhD in 2005, Pepijn had several postdoctoral positions in the area of technologies for ambient assisted living before becoming a Senior Research Fellow in 2007. In 2018 he joined UL's teaching staff as a Senior Lecturer. Pepijn has secured numerous national and international research awards totalling more than €1.7 million in funding to UL and is currently UL lead on the UK-MRC funded PROACTIVE project with King's College London and the University of São Paulo.
Pepijn’s research interests are the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to mobile sensing for biomedical applications with a particular focus on the area of eMental Health. Furthermore Pepijn has a keen interest in mobile app development for Android.
I am currently the UL lead and consortium technical lead on the UK MRC / FAPESP funded PROACTIVE project with partners from the King’s College London (coordinator), the University of São Paulo and Bristol University. For this project I have developed an ICT system with server component and various tablet apps and web interfaces to facilitate a task-shifted depression intervention to be delivered in economically disadvantaged parts of São Paulo. Task-shifting is the practice of moving tasks normally performed by highly trained, and thus costly, personnel to staff with less formal training. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that such interventions are effective at a significantly reduced cost.
Additionally, I am involved in various smaller-scale projects around use of ICT in health. Some of these focus on how machine learning can be used to classify or predict diseases / disorders from data that tends to be difficult to interpret for human beings. Others focus on digital phenotyping, which is the use of data gathered with and from smart phones and wearable devices to inform the characterization of patients/users and their (mental) health status.