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Improving healthcare by personalised technologies

The healthcare sector worldwide faces many challenges.

Among the answers emerging in our time is the trend towards personalisation as a means of offering patients more effective treatment. Health is intrinsically a personal issue and conscious consumers today are seeking more personalised experiences with greater control over their own lifestyles and wellbeing. At the same time, governments and insurers are faced with mounting pressure on budgets due to population ageing and rising life expectancy.

Our scientists and their research

When engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians and physicists search for solutions together with clinicians and psychologists, the results for the patient can be stunning. Three examples of personalised technology in healthcare from our multidisciplinary way of working:

An app for diabetics

Over a million people in the Netherlands have diabetes, and 90% of them have type 2. Every year 1,200 more people are diagnosed with the disease. ‘Diameter’, a smart, app-based system developed by the UT and ZGT Hospital Group Twente (Ziekenhuisgroep Twente), makes the task a lot easier – and in many cases even helps patients cut back on medication.

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Smart, flexible and steerable surgical needles

Extremely accurate cancer detection? Treatment of inoperable patients? The robot-controlled flexible needles being developed by UT scientist Sarthak Misra are making all that and more possible. Smart, flexible needles take this minimally invasive surgery to the next level, enabling access to otherwise inaccessible parts of the body.

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Painless breast cancer test

Every year half a million women die of breast cancer worldwide. Current detection techniques – X-ray mammography, ultrasound and MRI – offer a lot of room for improvement. UT researcher Srirang Manohar is working on a new technique: photoacoustic imaging. Photoacoustic imaging seems a promising new technology for various reasons.

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Needle-free injections with the ‘Bubble Gun’

In the famous science-fiction series Star Trek, Doctors Phlox and McCoy used a ‘hypospray’ to vaccinate a fellow space traveller: instead of a needle, the vaccination was performed with a jet of liquid. UT scientist David Fernandez Rivas wants to turn this fictional device into reality. 

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A team of virtual coaches to watch over your health

Imagine that as you get older, you have a team of experts around you who continuously and expertly look after your health and well-being. With the Council of Coaches programme, UT scientists wants to make this a reality. Minor detail: these coaches are not people, but virtual agents.

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Personalised healthcare: THREE KEY DOMAINS

The University of Twente is a frontrunner in conducting research, providing education and valorizing enabling technologies in personalised healthcare, with many game-changing advances to our name. One example is our Master’s and Bachelor's in Technical Medicine: the first in the world in which professionals are trained to treat patients by fusing medical expertise with engineering skills. With its launching, we introduced a completely new, high-value discipline that is now playing a vital role in taking healthcare forward.

On a broader level, we are updating healthcare and creating more customised treatments with technologies in three key domains:

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For the third time in a row we were named the most entrepeneurial university in the Netherlands. We are successful in translating our knowledge into economic activity: we've helped over a thousand spinoffs to get going. A few examples:

Our educational programmes

Besides the bachelor's and master's below, we also offer excellent training- and refresher courses for healthcare professionals: