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Process and Economic Evaluation of Hyperfine Swoop™ MRI Scanner technology adoption and use in Lower and Middle Income Countries

Start date

1st October 2023


1 fully funded 3-year PhD, funded by King’s College London (Africa Studentships)


This PhD project will involve the process and economic evaluation of the use of the first portable, point-of-care MRI device in the treatment and monitoring of a range of different health conditions and communicable diseases (e.g., Malnutrition, Ischaemia, Stroke, HIV, Anaemia). Biotech company Hyperfine have developed the Swoop™ scanner, which is a small, portable unit which can be quickly set up and used in remote settings. Originally designed for adult brain imaging, the unit is now being increasingly used for neonatal scanning in the developing world, with many clinical research projects ongoing.

This PhD project will be ideally placed to evaluate and help shape the implementation of this new health-focused technology into different clinical settings and health structures across the African continent including Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Zambia.

The ability to move the scanner, rather than the patient, to be used outside of hospital settings and to provide imaging solutions where MRI infrastructure is limited, if non-existent, will be a revolutionary innovation to support paediatric care and reduce infant mortality in the developing world. Investigation of the unique changes to processes in the African context will be key in the mass adoption of this technology. Utilising field visits, interviews and focus groups and surveys with researchers, clinicians, parents, and regulators a process evaluation of the integration of Swoop into the African context will provide an important insight of the organisational and societal factors which must change to use this technology to reduce health inequality and increase access to innovative healthcare technology.

This project should follow the new MRC/NIHR framework for evaluating complex interventions (Skivington et al., 2021).


Process Evaluation; Cost effectiveness analysis; comparative studies (case control study; crossover randomised controlled trial).


Quality-adjusted life year improvement of different applications of Hyperfine Swoop™. Country and cultural comparison of the costs and benefits.


Skivington, K., et al. (2021). "A new framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions: update of Medical Research Council guidance."


1st supervisor Dr Ricardo Twumasi (

2nd supervisor Dr Juliana Onwumere (

3rd supervisor Dr Vincent Giampietro (

Entry requirements

Applicants should have (or be expected to obtain) a Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours (or Overseas equivalent). A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters with Merit.

Award types and eligibility

The award covers tuition fees stipend and bench project fees for a student who is a currently resident African national.

Further information

For further background to the project:

King’s College London Africa Studentships (2023/24 entry) - Project no 2: 

About the IoPPN (

Studying at the IoPPN (

Research degrees at the IoPPN (link to

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit an online admissions application, via the admissions portal by midnight (23:59 GMT) on Monday 3rd July 2023.

On the ‘Choosing a programme’ page, please select Psychosis Studies Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time).

In your application, you will be asked to include:

  • Academic Transcripts – where applicable, academic transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application

  • Details of your qualifications (you will need to attach copies)

  • Details of previous employment - please include your CV (max 2 A4 sides)

  • A personal statement describing your interests and why you wish to apply for this project. Please include this as an attachment rather than using the text box.

  • Academic References – all admissions applications require one supporting reference. If the applicant is relying on thier referees to submit a reference directly to the College after they have submitted thier admissions application, then the applicant must ensure that (1) their chosen referee is made aware of the funding deadline (i.e. 7 days from application deadline) and (2) that the reference needs to be sent from an institutional email address.

  • Applicants should also submit their 1) CV, 2) a proposal of up to 1000 words outlining how you would make this PhD project your own within the scope provided, including reflections on relevant literature and 3) a sample of previously written work (e.g. a journal article or dissertation sample – if it is a multi-author paper, please include a credit statement of contribution) via email to

In the Funding section, please tick box 5 and include the following reference: RT-HYPER-SW-23

Please note there is no need to complete the Research Proposal section in your application as the project has already been set. You are welcome to email Dr Ricardo Twumasi ( for more information regarding the project and studentship.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact the Education support team at

References must be received by the deadline for the applicant to be eligible. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Closing date

Monday 3rd July 2023


Late July 2023


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