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Medical Research Council funding for pioneering NNUH and CMP collaboration

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded £847,000 to an innovative collaboration between Mr John Phillips, an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and Prof Stephen Cox, a signal-processing expert from CMP. This prestigious funding award is part of the MRC’s Development Pathway Funding Scheme, which supports the initial development and early clinical testing of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics.

Mr Phillips and Prof Cox have successfully developed a prototype device for monitoring and assessing patients who experience dizziness episodes. The device has the potential to reduce unnecessary GP and hospital visits, tests and scans, thus reducing the burden on the NHS, as well as improving the quality of life for people who experience dizziness. The funding received from the MRC will be used to further develop the existing prototype for further testing by healthy volunteers, before being tested by patients with dizziness.

Mr Phillips and Prof Cox commented: “Technical innovation is key for the effective management of complex diseases in the 21st century. This award recognises world-leading collaborative research between the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the School of Computing Sciences at the University of East Anglia."

Speaking of the funding success, Professor Gerard Parr, CMP Head of School, commented:

"This grant demonstrates the value of interdisciplinary research that is of direct impact to society. The interplay between Medical Professionals and Computer Scientists is becoming ever more important as we strive to develop interventions that reduce the burden on NHS resources and optimise treatments for patients.  The School of Computing Sciences at UEA is at the forefront of this interface and we look forward to developing the collaboration with NNUH further as part of the planned East of England Smart Emerging Technologies Institute."

The project was supported by a UEA Proof of Concept Award which was key in developing the project to the standard required for successful application to the MRC.

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