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£100k-plus investment signals new era for digital healthcare in Cumbria

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Tom Bell, new project manager of the Digital Health Institute

University creates Digital Health Institute

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has recruited a project manager to head up the creation of a Digital Health Institute at its West Cumbria Medical Education Centre – part of a £100,000-plus investment into digital healthcare.

Tom Bell, who lives in Penrith, will help develop the concept of a Digital Health Institute to support the teaching, research and delivery of healthcare in remote and rural areas, including Cumbria.

He plans to form partnerships with a range of stakeholders, health providers and healthcare users, with the aim of working together and sharing ideas to help drive digital change in the region.

UCLan’s investment into digital technology in Cumbria has also included the introduction of a state-of-the-art anatomage medical virtual dissection table, worth £90,000.

The life-size 3D device contains real patient CT scans and cadaveric images and will allow students to investigate the human body by virtually dissecting it.

Unlike a real dissection, in which body parts can only be removed, students can add or remove organs, veins, arteries, nerves or tissue.

Digital technology is becoming increasingly important in meeting the growing healthcare challenges facing our health systems locally, nationally and internationally.

Tom said: “I join UCLan at an exciting time and the dawning of a new era of digital healthcare here in Cumbria.

“Digital technology is becoming increasingly important in meeting the growing healthcare challenges facing our health systems locally, nationally and internationally.

“The Digital Health Institute will not only support the Cumbrian healthcare system to adopt and deploy digital technology and digital enabled care but, importantly, it represents a new way of Higher Education working collaboratively with the NHS at all levels to help it meet real-world objectives.”

Tom joins the University from the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust where he was GP Stakeholder Engagement Manager. He has a strong background in programme and project management, as well as a track-record of developing effective partnerships in the private, public and plural sectors.

West Cumberland Medical Education Centre is a research, teaching and medical education facility led by senior clinical academics with a background in acute medicine and primary care in West Cumbria.

It is an innovative collaboration between UCLan, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, NHS Cumbria Commissioning Group and the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  


An anatomage medical virtual dissection table

Press Office | 12 July 2017