Awarded one of the Nation’s Lifesavers - Made at Uni Award

Prize: Honorary award


Professor James McLaughlin from Ulster University has today been recognised for his exceptional contribution to keeping the nation healthy.

At the forefront of research in the connected health sector Professor McLaughlin’s work focuses on developing technology to enhance patient care and deliver cost efficiencies for the healthcare industry. He has been announced as one of the Nation’s Lifesavers – the top 100 individuals or groups based in universities whose work is saving lives and making a life-changing difference to our health and wellbeing. Professor McLaughlin has been named for the first time today as part of Universities UK’s MadeAtUni campaign, which brings to life the impact of universities on everyday lives.

Professor McLaughlin, Head of School of Engineering at Ulster University has co-invented many devices that enable the early detection of potentially life-threatening heart rhythms, most recently the wearable Zensor device - a comfortable and discreet body-worn monitor that intelligentially measures ECG, heart and respiration rate with skin temperature. Medical data stored on the device is sent via Wi-Fi to the cloud, allowing a clinician to access it on a smartphone, desktop computer, or tablet. Data is also stored in the device and can be downloaded directly via a USB.

The Nation’s Lifesavers are fighting diseases, helping new parents and children enjoy the best start in life, supporting older people and improving our mental health and wellbeing. The selection reveals the amazing use of technology, such as drones to fight malaria, a smart glove for communicating sign language and robots helping older people.

Universities from across the UK were invited to nominate an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the nation’s health and wellbeing. Over 100 universities from Plymouth to Dundee submitted a nomination.

Professor McLaughlin, Head of School of Engineering at Ulster University said:

“It is a fantastic honour to feature as one of the Nation’s Lifesavers for my work into cutting edge wearable health technology. The aim of my work has always been to utilise technology to aid early detection of potentially life threatening illnesses and to aid clinicians with effective and efficient diagnosis and treatment.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President Universities UK, said:

“When people think of lifesavers they tend to focus on the dedication and skill of our doctors, nurses, carers, and paramedics – many of whom are trained at universities. Every day, up and down the country, universities are also working on innovations to transform and save lives. Research taking place in universities is finding solutions to so many of the health and wellbeing issues we care about and the causes that matter.

By proudly working in partnership with charities, the NHS and healthcare organisations, universities are responsible for some of our biggest health breakthroughs and in revolutionising the delivery of care.

This campaign is a chance to bring to life the wonderful and often unexpected work going on every day in our universities and to celebrate some of the people working to make a life-changing difference to the nation.”

Research shows the public are proud of UK universities1 but have little understanding of the benefits they bring, with most not being aware that UK academics are behind many of the discoveries that save lives and keep up healthy.

The MadeAtUni campaign gives the public an insight into some of this work and celebrates those who made it happen. More information on the campaign can be found on the dedicated website:
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