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Applying science and engineering in healthcare – successes and failures

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Applying science and engineering to healthcare is one of the most multidisciplinary areas of R&D and can be one of the most rewarding (although also occasionally frustrating)! Developing a new diagnostic, monitoring or treatment technique in the laboratory is exciting, but the real reward is to get that technique out of the lab and into use on patients. Doing this successfully requires a very broad and multidisciplinary collaboration between scientists, engineers, clinical staff, industry and patients and can often take many years (though if the breakthrough is reported by the media, this is usually shortened into an opening sentence “Doctors have developed…”).

Our Speaker, Professor Delpy originally studied physics and after two years in industry, spent 35 years at University College London (UCL) developing techniques for the monitoring newborn infants. He is best known for developments of NIR Spectroscopy and Imaging of brain oxygenation. Many companies have marketed devices developed by him and his team.

After seven years as Research Vice Provost, he left UCL in 2007 to become the CEO of the EPSRC , stepping down in 2014. He was then Chair of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council from 2014 to 2017 and is currently Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board for the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme and Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Optics at UCL .

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

He will describe a series of monitoring and imaging technique developments that he has been involved in and look at the process of successful (and some unsuccessful) translation of these into clinical practice.

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