The University of Manchester Leading the Charge in Digital Health Innovation

In an era where the fusion of technology and healthcare is becoming increasingly vital, the University of Manchester stands at the forefront of pioneering research and innovation. With a commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology for the betterment of healthcare, the University’s Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology Research and Innovation and the Division of Informatics, Imaging & Data Science continues to make significant strides in the realm of digital health.

In a recent article by Times Higher Education, titled “Have Universities Got Their Finger on the Pulse of Digital Health?” the University of Manchester’s endeavours take centre stage. The piece highlights the critical role Universities play in shaping the future of digital health, emphasising the need for interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative approaches to address the evolving healthcare landscape. Times Higher Education rank the leading Universities in digital health research fields based on the impact of their research (“CNCI”, or category normalised citation impact). The University of Manchester ranked #4, with the highest percentage of papers in the top 10% by citation (32%) out of all institutions worldwide.

At the helm of this transformative journey is the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology Research and Innovation. A unique partnership between the University, NHS, business and local government, it forms an important part of the Greater Manchester health innovation ecosystem, working together to translate world-leading research into new products and services. Named after the renowned suffragette and Manchester alumna, this institute serves as a beacon of innovation, driving forward groundbreaking research initiatives aimed at revolutionizing healthcare through technology. With a focus on developing novel solutions for healthcare challenges, the institute fosters collaboration between researchers, industry partners, and healthcare professionals to translate cutting-edge discoveries into tangible benefits for patients.

Professor Alejandro Frangi, Director of the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology Research and Innovation, comments, “our vision for the Christabel Pankhurst Institute is to make Greater Manchester one of the world’s most vibrant, well-connected, innovation-driven health tech ecosystems, ensuring the many excellent capabilities in our university impact on Greater Manchester’s citizens, their health and wellbeing, and its economy beyond what they can do working in silos. The Christabel Pankhurst Institute’s mission is, therefore, to provide thought leadership and nurture the relationships that connect our outstanding University community with the broader health and care ecosystem, so it undertakes challenge-driven, ground-breaking research and delivers meaningful innovations in health and care technologies, supports their clinical evaluation and adoption, advocates for interdisciplinary collaboration and entrepreneurship, and enables sustainable and equitable health and care in Greater Manchester. This can only be done in partnership with other key stakeholders in the Greater Manchester ecosystem.”

Complementing the efforts of the Christabel Pankhurst Institute is the University of Manchester’s Division of Informatics, Imaging & Data Science. This division plays a pivotal role in harnessing the power of data and technology to drive advancements in healthcare. By combining expertise in informatics, imaging, and data science, researchers within this division are developing innovative approaches for healthcare delivery, diagnosis, and treatment.

Professor John Ainsworth, Head of the Division of Informatics Imaging and Data Science, comments, “this is a significant marker of our progress in this field over many years. It reflects not only the quality of our original research but also the strength of our collaborations with the NHS. Digital health is a rapidly moving field driven by new technologies such as AI. The challenge now for the field is how to sustainably translate these technologies into practice. With the addition of the Cristabel Pankhurst Institute, the University of Manchester is well placed to continue its leadership in Digital Health.”

Professor Georgina Moulton, Director of the Centre for Health Informatics, adds, “our world-leading digital health research fuels our cutting-edge health informatics and data science programs at Manchester. This translates directly into up-to-date, practical education that equips the next generation of healthcare professionals to seamlessly integrate digital technologies throughout the healthcare system.”

The University of Manchester’s dedication to advancing digital health is not only evident in its research endeavours but also in its commitment to educating the next generation of healthcare leaders. By offering specialized programs and training opportunities in digital health and informatics, the University is equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to drive innovation and shape the future of healthcare.

As the digital health landscape continues to evolve, the University of Manchester remains steadfast in its commitment to pushing the boundaries of possibility. With the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology Research and Innovation leading the charge, backed by the expertise of the Division of Informatics, Imaging & Data Science, the University is poised to make significant contributions to the advancement of digital health on a global scale.