Sheffield health: Smartphone sensors which could prevent illness to be tested in South Yorkshire by Google

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"I refuse to accept that a baby born in Rotherham today is likely to live a life that is five years shorter than a baby born in a wealthy part of London."

Smartphone sensors will be trialled as a way to detect and prevent illness across South Yorkshire, in the first of a series of health tech studies funded by Google.

The study will see if Pixel smartphone sensors which detect light, radar, and electrical signals from the heart could help earlier detection of conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and chronic kidney disease.

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Tim Chico, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Sheffield, said: “The more information we have about patients’ health as early as possible, the more opportunities we will have to make a difference.

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“Bringing together patients, healthcare professionals, researchers and companies creates a community of practice – it’s the future”. 

Google, alongside the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and South Yorkshire’s Mayor will form the South Yorkshire Digital Health Hub.

The £4m partnership centre aims to drive the development of innovative digital technologies to improve the way diseases are diagnosed and treated.

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South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard said: “I refuse to accept that a baby born in Rotherham today is likely to live a life that is five years shorter than a baby born in a wealthy part of London. I know Google do too.”

Debbie Weinstein, Google UK and Ireland’s VP & Managing Director, said the company is “proud" to be supporting South Yorkshire’s institutions.

The centre will be hosted at Sheffield Hallam’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC).

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