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Wales Centre to deliver ‘model’ healthcare services

07 May 2010

Health Modelling Centre Cymru Logo

A new all-Wales Centre involving academics from the University is set to help create more effective healthcare services using the latest mathematical and computational modelling techniques.

The new Health Modelling Centre - hmc2 is a new initiative developed by the Wales Institute of Mathematical and Computational Sciences (WIMCS), a joint University collaboration between Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea.

hmc2 has been designed to build on Wales’ expertise in mathematical and computational modelling and help support the medical research community, NHS Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government deliver more effective healthcare services.

Professor Terry Lyons, Director of WIMCS said: "The increasing sophistication of medical understanding leads to a growing opportunity and even a requirement to use novel mathematics to deliver high quality outcomes.

"Sophisticated imaging to detect cancer, modelling to inform policy decisions and avoid waste, understanding the flow of blood, modelling the biochemical pathways of disease, and even detecting from remote sensors if a vulnerable individual is in need of help while avoiding false alarms, all require and can benefit from current mathematical research and high quality mathematical and modelling expertise.

"This centre will contribute to keeping Wales at the cutting edge in health research and provision."

Healthcare service in Wales, and across the UK, are already benefiting with the support of mathematical and computational modelling techniques.

Previous modelling projects have helped examine hospital waiting lists across Wales, intensive care provision for the University of Wales Hospital, operating theatre performance and the modelling of bed-blocking in UK hospitals.

Modelling techniques have also been used to help inform policy on breast cancer screening and targeted screening strategies for Chlamydia. Modelling is also currently being used to help support the improved delivery of ambulance response times for the Welsh Ambulance Service. In addition, various cardiovascular and respiratory flow modelling projects are helping to improve diagnosis and to reduce clinician time. Efforts are also underway to reduce problems associated with breathing and breathing disorders.

Professor Paul Harper from Cardiff University’s School of Mathematics and Director of hmc2 said: "Across Wales we have some of the UK’s leading experts in mathematical and computational modelling - which has already been used to make services more efficient and effective.

"Establishing hmc2 is a major step forward - not only will it help build on Wales’ expertise in this area but, more importantly, become a focus for research to help improve the way health care services are delivered."

"The use of mathematical and computational modelling can actively and substantially contribute the delivery of healthcare services. Having a Centre like this, will help put Wales firmly on the world’s healthcare map for mathematical and computational research."

Professor Perumal Nithiarasu, co-director of hmc2 added that: "Translating cardiovascular and respiratory flow modelling to clinical use is one of the crucial issues facing the researchers from both Wales and other countries. Through hmc2 we will make all the effort possible to provide healthcare support to clinicians and patients by improving diagnosis and treatment procedures".

hmc2 will help Wales build on existing research collaborations and focus on research projects that will focus on building capacity and deliver specific clinical approaches.

hmc2 was officially launched at the University’s Wallace Lecture Theatre on Friday 7th May and was addressed by key healthcare modelling figures from across the UK and Canada.

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