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My 10 days as a visiting scholar at the DHI

Saturday, June 1, 2019
Ashley Sekulich

I am a Canadian student at the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany and I’m currently finishing up a two year masters program in biomedical sciences with my thesis. Throughout my studies, I became really interested in medical devices and bringing them into healthcare settings. I reached out to the DHI for my thesis research because I found the devices and projects they're involved in to be extremely interesting and progressive. 

I combined my medical background with digital health for my thesis topic, IoT medical devices for remote monitoring of heart patients. I believe that integrating technology into the devices used to monitor heart patients is the future for providing better prevention and reducing the mortality associated with heart diseases. I was able to get feedback from my supervisor at the DHI on my research while I worked from Germany, and also had the opportunity of spending a short time here in Glasgow as a visiting scholar. Overall, it’s been a great experience that has allowed me to learn a lot about the real-world work setting around digital medicine.

 I was able to attend a co-design workshop around using a digital management program for asthma, where patients were able to give their personal experiences and input on what could help them. I attended a meeting about clinically testing devices for atrial fibrillation detection, and learned about the challenges of getting devices into clinical settings. I met the head of cardiology at Napier University about the various projects she has done, as well as the future digital health Masters program that will be apart of the university next year. Finally, I spent a fully day with the Digital Health and Wellbeing research group at the University of Strathclyde. I was included in a meeting about an eSMART study looking into remote monitoring of chemotherapy patients, which takes place in five european counties and involves a multidisciplinary team. I also met with many individual researchers at the university about their work in different areas of digital health. Everyone was very supportive and I learned a great deal, not only for my research, but also for my future career aspirations.