About the strategic partnership with The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC)
Last year Toshiba announced a strategic partnership with The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre in Sheffield, United Kingdom. The partnership will see Toshiba providing state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment and wearable biosensors as well as ongoing consultancy with regard to application innovation and development for AWRC applied research.
Much of the research expertise will come from research teams that helped the Great Brittan Olympic Team achieve 24 medals in London 2012 and will integrate into the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine that seeks to improve people’s lives through physical activity.
Toshiba will also supply World class diagnostic imaging equipment including its Aquilion ONE™ dynamic volume CT system, which will allow researchers to successfully collect images of athletes’ and patients’ entire organs in one rotation. The imaging equipment comes with dynamic volumetric acquisition protocols that can be used to review moving joint structures in 3D, as well as dynamic blood or air flow that will see Toshiba consultants partnering with AWRC researchers to develop applications and best practice guidelines regarding the early diagnosis, improved rehabilitation and preventative care for those that are exercising both at elite athlete level and for the local community and wider public.
Professor Steve Haake, AWRC Director, comments: “We are delighted that Toshiba has become AWRC’s first industry partner joining Government’s backing. Media articles about overweight children, rising levels of obesity and diabetes appear in a newspaper almost every day. Most recently the World Health Organisation reported that nearly three quarters of men and two thirds of women in the United Kingdom will be overweight by 20201. That’s less than 5 years away!
“Sedentary behaviour and a stream of rich food can lead to all sorts of problems appearing in our lives as chronic disease. This was highlighted by a 2011 report for the Department of Health, which showed that increasing physical activity could reduce the risk of type II diabetes and colon cancer by up to 50%, heart disease and stroke by up to 35%, depression by 30% and the other scourge of our day, Alzheimer’s disease, by 30%.
“With these statistics and predictions in mind, the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre has been set up to become the most advanced research and development centre for physical activity in the world, creating ‘innovations that help people move‘ in sport, healthcare, physical activity and leisure“.
Acting as a hothouse of innovation, the AWRC will bring together a set of industry partners who manufacture and supply technology and equipment including apps, activity loggers, sports equipment, orthotics, and clinical devices. The main focus of the AWRC research and innovation will be on how technology is used, how people interact with technology that helps them become more physically active, and how improvements in physical health are captured and monitored in order to provide an evidence base regarding the positive impact of physical activity on health.
Projects will aim to find out what works in large populations, initially using the population of Sheffield as a field laboratory. Additionally, the AWRC is set to become a critical assistance partner for the National Health Service by providing an evidence base that proves the positive impact of exercise on the health of the population in the United Kingdom.
Mark Hitchman, Canon Medical’s UK Managing Director comments: “Our partnership with AWRC forms a critical part of Toshiba’s strategy to invest and partner in research projects that will have considerable benefits to NHS efforts and the population in the United Kingdom at large.
“AWRC will target wide swathes of the population, from those who are completely sedentary to those who are most active; from young to old; from those in the most deprived communities to those in the most affluent; from those at home to those in work, in education or in elite sport.
“Toshiba’s imaging equipment and exercise monitors will play a crucial role in identifying and understanding the positive effects of exercise on health, whilst helping to provide accurate diagnoses and recovery paths for those that are injured.“
As well as the AWRC, Toshiba’s radiology equipment is powering not just some of the leading medical institutions, but also some of the World’s leading sports organisations and community-based sports facilities such as Manchester United Football Club, FC Barcelona, Barnet Football Club, The Tessa Sanderson Foundation and Academy and the recently held 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
- Start Active Stay Active. Varney, Brannan and Aaltonen, 2011. Department of Health.