Project title: SOFTLI, 2019-2020
Funding body: Cancer Research UK, 30k
Dr. Helen McNair, Institute of Cancer Research, the Royal Marsden Hospital
Professor Alison McGregor, Imperial College London
This project aims to test the feasibility of applying soft robotic tactile intervention (SOFTLI) to improve patient experience during radiotherapy and imaging sessions. The SRTI aims to provide both psychological and physical comfort simultaneously and can have a significant role in facilitating communication and support between care recipients and caregivers.
Project title: SimTouch, 2018-2019
Funding body: MecTech SuperConnector (Research England), 73k £
SimTouch is a soft, wearable device that gives tactile reassurance for people who have to cope with stressful situations alone. Simulated affective touch (SAT) has shown effectiveness in alleviating anxiety, pain and reducing the sensation of social isolation. However, the lab-based device is too bulky and immobile. SimTouch makes it possible for more people to benefit from the therapeutic effect of SAT anywhere, at any time. Using soft robotics technology and materials, SimTouch creates tactile stimulations with features of affective touch that vibratory stimulators could not achieve. Wearer can personalise tactile patterns to receive during stressful moments. Family members and support group of the wearer could send ‘reassurance’ and give a ‘physical presence’ via the connected App. Currently we are working on using SimTouch to improve cancer patients’ experience during radiotherapy and imaging sessions, in collaboration with the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and Imperial College.