Showcase will highlight innovative and exciting research

12 May 2017

A packed Research Showcase is in store later this month as more than 20 research teams come together from across University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and the University of Birmingham (UoB) to say “I Am Research” and exhibit the incredible work they do to drive improvements in patient care.

At the extensive exhibition, which will be held between 10:00 and 16:00 in the Atrium at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Friday 19 May 2017, teams from UHB and UoB – both members of Birmingham Health Partners – will offer an exciting opportunity to peer into the work of research. Patients and members of the public will be encouraged to get more involved wherever they can to help in the development of new trials and treatments.

  • The showcase will feature the use of virtual reality to help improve patient outcomes, with the InspireVR and VeloVR trials on show. InspireVR looks to reduce complications following surgery to remove the oesophagus (or windpipe), and the VeloVR team will be showing how using a virtual environment and cycling can improve patient mobilisation in critical care
  • Burns are also on the agenda, with the UoB School of Chemical Engineering exhibiting the early results of a gel spray that may be available in the future to treat burn wounds. A device to measure the depth of burns scars will also be exhibited
  • Jo Gray with OK to askYour genetics will be tested with a simple “taste test” to tell whether you have a certain gene – part of the building blocks that make you individual
  • Super bugs will also be bought into the light – blue light – which has been shown to kill germs, with other light therapies being investigated as they can help boost the repair mechanisms of our bodies’ hard and soft tissues
  • Controlling infections is high on the agenda in research, with studies on the medical campus looking at novel ways such as blue light, but also the use of honey and vinegar
  • Visitors will be able to look at DNA and how to extract this from simple fruit with a combination of interactive games demonstrating the variety of trials delivered by the National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Facility
  • Research into lung injury and the latest information about the effects of e-cigarettes will be on show, as well as a look at rare genetic conditions that increase your risk of lung and liver diseases
  • The respiratory team will be demonstrating a range of technologies to understand changes in the lung
  • The Institute of Inflammation and Ageing team (IRF) will be bringing their portable ultrasound scanner to scan hand joints alongside biopsy samples to view through a microscope, in addition to information on Sjögren’s Syndrome and the studies run by the IRF
  • The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network is further supporting the showcase by highlighting their adoption and spread of innovation, including putting research into practice. This will include a practical demonstration of AliveCor, a mobile heart rate and rhythm monitor that is simply held in the patient’s hand to obtain an electrocardiogram (ECG) report. The device is easy to use for any healthcare professional and stores the recorded ECGs for future review. An accompanying phone or tablet app allows real time visualisation of the ECG recording, as well as storage of previous recordings for later review
  • A collaboration of researchers working with the West Midlands Air Ambulance Service that examines the body’s response to a traumatic injury, and whether a blood sample taken during the “golden hour” before a patient reaches the hospital can help to predict the secondary risks to trauma patients, will also be displayed. Visitors will be able to see how this team performs the experiments in the lab at their interactive stall
  • Look out for the ophthalmology team, who will share recent developments in their work in scanning the eye using a combination of video and still images to visualise the inside of the eye. You can find out what it actually feels like to live with various eye conditions
  • Pain is in the hot seat at the showcase with sensory testing devices such as vibration and pressure testing, and pain drawing software, which is helping doctors and nurses better understand chronic pain, on show

Jo Plumb, Head of Research and Development at UHB, said: “Research improves the NHS and patient outcomes – hospitals that have active research have better outcomes for their patients. The showcase is an exciting way to find out how you can get involved and, like us, say: ‘I am Research.’”

Get involved in research

Visit the UK Clinical Trials Gateway to find out about the research taking place in your local area and register your interest in taking part.