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'Heartwarming and extraordinary': Hospital of the Future heralded a success at New Scientist Live

The Hospital of the Future by the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

NSL group photo hi res

Thousands of guests visited the futuristic medical technologies stand The Hospital of The Future by the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, at this year’s New Scientist Live Festival. The exhibit was heralded a success by academics, clinicians, scientists and all interested in the future of healthcare engineering.

The interactive exhibition featured 15 stands showcasing research from within the School including the latest advancements in radionuclide imaging, future surgical instrumentation, surgical robotics, virtual reality, AI enabled technologies, healthcare applications of 3D printing and computational cardiology.

Our Hospital of the Future exhibit at New Scientist Live 2022 was an overwhelming success thanks to our dedicated staff and their fantastic demos. We captured the imagination of crowds, showing them what the future of healthcare engineering can look like and what engineering better health, our School's motto, really means in practice. Well done all!– Professor Sebastien Ourselin FREng, Head, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

One station, virtual reality hearts based on research by cardiologists and software developers, was a particular standout encouraging visitors, through VR, to immerse themselves in a virtual environment with the heart. The technology is to be used for surgical planning of complex heart surgeries.

Robotics demonstrations were also crowd pleasers, including a robotics station led by PhD students Dionysios Malas and Li Yue. A robotic arm, used to demonstrate the degrees of freedom of the robot, had a 3D printed hand attached in place of a surgical tool was an instant hit with children. They also demonstrated an almost-commercialised soft robot for colonoscopies, MorphGI.

An ophthalmology set-up by researcher Ross Henry showcased sophisticated robotics led by Dr Christos Bergeles, used to implant stem cells in the eye as a way to restore sight lost by Macular Degeneration.

At the top of the 18mx10m stand, was Superhuman Vision for Surgery led by Dr Jonathan Shapey with by his team of clinical students and researchers. The three-part station involved perfusion imaging, laparoscopic surgery and fluorescence imaging. The novel technologies were based on work by School spin-out Hypervision Surgical.

The Hospital of The Future also included work from industry partner CMR Surgical and a stand with spin-out Cydar showcasing the latest technologies for cardiovascular surgeries.  

The visitors seemed to really enjoy the integration of clinical medicine with science, and the ability to see the technology at the stand combined with a practical exercise. It was a privilege to be invited to be part of the event and to have the opportunity to demonstrate technology that was developed in King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and is now available in centres in the UK, US and Europe, with proven improvements in patient care. – Dr Rachel Clough, Clinical Senior Lecturer, Department of Biomedical Engineering at the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

Visitors from Baytree Community Group and Evelina Children's Heart Organisation (ECHO) also enjoyed the experience, The ECHO group 'felt confident and comfortable to engage with the exhibition and enjoyed talking to the researchers and getting hands on with the practical interactive nature of the stand.'

One particular highlight saw robotics researcher Ross Henry organised a robotic handshake between the Boston Dynamics robotic dog brought by The UK Atomic Energy Authority and the Kuka robot. 

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Interactive exhibits such as the Hospital of the Future by King’s College London was heartwarming and extraordinary.– New Scientist