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Bradford academics help transform healthcare service delivery with Internet-of-Things and smart technologies in Indonesia

Published: Wed 12 Apr 2017
Bradford academics help transform healthcare service delivery with Internet-of-Things and smart technologies in Indonesia

Researchers from the University of Bradford and the University of Lampung in Indonesia are set to transform current paper-based clinical services with smart technologies, by exploiting Internet-of-Things and semantic web.

The change will improve service efficiency and lessen the inequitable distribution of healthcare services between urban and rural areas in Indonesia through the 2-year multi-disciplinary project BLESS U: Bandar Lampung Enhanced Smart-health Services with Smart Ubiquity with a grant award near £110k funded under the Newton Fund Institutional Links

The Newton Fund

Newton Fund logo Institutional Links logo

The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s official development assistance programme. The fund is £75 million each year from 2014 for five years. Through the Newton Fund, the UK will use its strength in research and innovation to promote economic development and social welfare of partner countries. By working together on research and innovation projects, the UK will build strong and sustainable relationships with partner countries. This will support the continued excellence of UK research and innovation to unlock opportunities for wider collaboration and trade.

BLESS U

The BLESS U consortium includes the University of Bradford and University of Lampung (Indonesia) with support from the Bradford Council, Bandung Institute of Technology of Bandung and Kosasih Clinic in Indonesia.

The project led by Prof Fun Hu from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing Science of the University of Bradford will perform a gap analysis on the healthcare service delivery processes in rural and urban Indonesia and will derive an enhanced process model to improve and automate the service delivery by integrating Internet-of-Things and semantic web technologies. Healthcare service delivery in the UK will also be analysed and compared with those in Indonesia. The project will also form a part of the Technology House development, which Prof. Hu is the academic lead, in the £13M BIS funded Digital Health Enterprise Zone (DHEZ) Academic building,

Prof. Hu said “This project will help improve the healthcare system in Indonesia, especially in the rural areas where there is healthcare provision is inadequate. This, in turn, will improve the social welfare of the people. Indonesia is the latest country in the Asia-Pacific region to adopt smart city initiatives with many major cities such as Jakarta and Bandung already benefiting from government support and investment. The BLESS U project will complement these initiatives by developing a proof-of-concept Internet-of-Things enabled smart clinic to automate primary healthcare services provided by clinics in Bandar Lampung and to address the inequitable distribution of healthcare services between urban and rural areas through the potential integration of IoT and satellite technologies for remote healthcare service delivery in rural extremes”.

An exceptional opportunity in smart health

Dr Helmy and Dr Susanto from Lampung University in Indonesia said, “The BLESS U project is an exceptional opportunity for the University of Lampung working together with experts from the University of Bradford in smart health. The innovation developed in BLESS U will be expected to improve the efficiency of healthcare services across Indonesia, especially in Lampung province. In Indonesia, BLESS U will first develop a pilot smart clinic in Bandar Lampung, the capital of Lampung province, with a view to being expanded to the whole Lampung province in the future. We are expecting that the innovation of BLESS U will leverage economic growths in Lampung, specifically in Bandar Lampung, and hence improve the society welfare of the country. The innovation of BLESS U will impact significantly on the future development of University of Lampung, Bandar Lampung City, Lampung Province, and Indonesia, and we will explore further opportunities to sustain the consortium’s collaboration”

Dr Jiachen Hou, co-investigator and lecturer from the School of Management and Law said “I am delighted to contribute to this important project. One of the big challenges for healthcare services is to facilitate the flow of information and knowledge in order to build a health information network across different levels. Understanding the processes involved, more importantly how workflow, people, materials interact with each other is key to effectively and efficiently manage information and knowledge distribution. The BLESS U project will investigate processes from multiple perspectives, in particular, patients, hospital, and clinic, to find out the issues and to further optimise the patient pathways and clinical processes”.

Innovative solutions for healthcare services

Prof. Irfan Awan, Head of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Bradford said, “Internet-of-Things (IoT) is one of the School’s key research activities. The BLESS U project will develop innovative solutions for healthcare services by exploiting a wide range of fastest growing IoT technologies. The project will provide a great opportunity to researchers from both institutes to collaborate and establish a strong partnership in completing this challenging work.”

Prof. Allan Kellerhear, Academic Director of the DHEZ (Academic) said, “This is an important and innovative project that reflects the spirit and priorities of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone academic area at the University of Bradford. We are delighted to be supporting and participating in this international research with Professor Hu”.

Yunus Mayat, Enterprise Architect and Information Manager from the Bradford Council said, “We are very excited to be part of the BLESS U project, which aligns with one of our six priorities on Better health, better lives. We have already established a close working relationship with the University of Bradford through the DHEZ project and other activities. The BLESS U project will further strengthen this collaboration relationship and will raise the profile of the Bradford City. It is more important than ever for the Bradford Council to have closer collaboration locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to encourage economic growth. The BLESS U project provides the platform to outreach to Indonesia and to exchange lessons learnt in healthcare provision between the two countries.”

The Bradford BLESS U academic team includes Prof. Fun Hu, Dr Jiachen Hou, Dr Mumtaz Kamala, Dr Mansour Youseffi, Prof. Allan Kellehear, Prof. Irfan Awan, Prof. Rami Qahwaji and Prof. Mohamad Mohamad.

Workshop

Researchers from the University of Bradford are also involved in a workshop entitled Employing Information and Communications Technologies in Homes and Cities for the Health and Well-Being of Older People (ICT4HOP '17), to be held in August. 

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