Royston scientist presents in Parliament about wearable sensors

PUBLISHED: 11:58 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:58 20 March 2018

Royston scientist Dr Peter Charlton, pictured when receiving an award from Professor Mark Tooley for the best paper published in journal Physiological Measurement, was invited to Parliament to discuss the potential benefits of using wearable sensors to continuously monitor our health. Picture: Sean Edmunds

Royston scientist Dr Peter Charlton, pictured when receiving an award from Professor Mark Tooley for the best paper published in journal Physiological Measurement, was invited to Parliament to discuss the potential benefits of using wearable sensors to continuously monitor our health. Picture: Sean Edmunds

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A scientist hailing from Royston has attended Parliament to present his engineering research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges.

Dr Peter Charlton has been researching the potential benefits of using wearable sensors to continuously monitor our health. Picture: Dr Peter CharltonDr Peter Charlton has been researching the potential benefits of using wearable sensors to continuously monitor our health. Picture: Dr Peter Charlton

Dr Peter Charlton was chosen from hundreds of applicants as part of the scheme STEM for Britain.

He said: “It was a privilege to be invited to Parliament to discuss the potential benefits of using wearable sensors to continuously monitor our health.

“Many of us now have smartwatches and fitness devices which can provide second-by-second updates on the state of our heart and blood vessels, so it is important to explore the potential benefits this new technology could bring to society.”

The presentation took place last Monday as part of British Science Week, which promotes STEM subjects science, technology, engineering and maths in schools.

Dr Charlton and his team’s poster on research into identifying the early signs of impending clinical deteriorations, such as heart attacks and strokes from wearable sensors, was judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind.

The 30-year-old told the Crow: “The first step is to use it in hospitals, particularly on the patients who have just had surgery and need to be monitored.

“The trial we ran shows the benefits that the sensors pose. We gave 184 patients sensors to wear for four days after they were recovering from surgery and it showed a huge level of accuracy – some cases we could provide advanced warning on servere conditions in patients of up to several hours.

“We are also excited with the potential the sensors could pose to reduce workload at hospitals – as the alternative that is currently used in hospitals to monitor the health of patients are manual health measurements.

“The readings are typically taken around every four to six hours by hand, whereas our sensors could continuously monitor patients continuously and potentially raise alarms at the proper time to highlight if the patients are in danger.”

Despite Dr Charlton and his team not winning a prize at Parliament, he said: “It is certainly a step on the right path, making our ideas better known. “Our visit to Parliament was a rare opportunity and marked a long journey – but it is the first step of many.”

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