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  • Writer's pictureRory Cellan-Jones

Tech Again

Due to a failure of imagination within the Movers & Shakers team, we've somehow allowed Rory to do a second episode all about Parkinson's technology. But don't fear! He's come to the pub equipped with the latest in life-saving, high-tech bling, along with some top guests who are responsible for developing the next generation of life-saving (or life-changing) technology. But are these products more hype than hope? And will the NHS ever start to reward Britain's brilliant innovators? Listen to today's episode of Movers & Shakers below for all this and a lot more.

Each week Rory Cellan-Jones guides us between the laughs and moans in the pub. To read Rory's summary of this week's episode click here.


Guest Biographies

Dr Rutger Zietsma

Rutger is founding CEO of Manus Neurodynamica Ltd – the company that created the NeuroMotor Pen (NMP).  The NMP is a medical device which objectively and accurately assesses for neuromotor impairments. While working with a small consulting firm, Rutger developed ideas to utilise neuroscience from his earlier PhD research to create novel, easily implementable clinical tools. Manus was founded as a channel to realise those ideas. Rutger coordinated the EU project, DiPAR, which facilitated initial product development and clinical validation. Prior to his PhD, Rutger gained experience in biomedical engineering (J&J Cordis Europe, Philips DAP and Medical systems) and project management for the Dutch healthcare sector (Cap Gemini). He also has post-graduate degrees in Bioengineering and Business administration.

Caroline Cake

Caroline Cake is co-founder and CEO of Neu Health, a spinout from the University of Oxford developed on 10 years of research. Starting with Parkinson’s and Dementia, Neu Health has developed a digital platform to help clinicians, patients and carers improve clinical outcomes and quality of life.


Caroline was previously Entrepreneur in Residence at Oxford Science Enterprises and Chief Executive Officer at Health Data Research UK (HDRUK), the UK's national institute for health data science. At The PSC she was a director advising health organisations, universities and central government departments on strategy, transformation, capability building, and delivery planning. Prior to joining the PSC, Caroline was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company and a Chartered Control and Electrical Engineer at ICI. Caroline holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MA and MEng from the University of Cambridge.


Away from work, Caroline is a serial founder of book clubs, has been inspired back into rowing by the active Parkinson’s community, and enjoys walking with family and a very lively Red Setter.


Reimagining Neurology Care with Data and Digital Technologies

By Caroline Cake


Living with chronic conditions like Parkinson’s disease or Dementia can be incredibly challenging. Whilst the NHS is blessed with talented clinicians and therapists, care is often hampered by shortages in staff, resources and treatments. Consider this: a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s left in the dark without any guidance on the actions she should take, another spending over a year getting to the right medication, and a third consumed by constant worry over whether they're managing their condition correctly.


These stories aren’t isolated incidents. In fact, nearly a million people in the UK grapple with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and Dementia. Sadly, managing these conditions is far from straightforward due to their complexity, a shortage of specialists, and the inherent difficulty in accurately measuring their progression.


But what if there was a solution? What if we could revolutionise the management of these conditions using digital technologies and data, just as we've successfully done with diseases like diabetes?


At Neu Health, we're doing exactly this. Drawing on a decade of research from the University of Oxford, we've developed user-friendly digital tools aimed at empowering both patients and clinicians to better manage neurological conditions. These tools allow patients to monitor symptoms, adhere to medication schedules, access personalised best practices, and seamlessly share data with their clinical team.


Through sophisticated data analysis and artificial intelligence, clinicians gain invaluable insights into each patient's condition and preferences, enabling tailored treatments and recommendations. This personalised approach doesn’t just improve clinical outcomes; it enhances the quality of life for individuals battling these conditions on a daily basis.


We are already using these digital approaches in NHS Trusts in Suffolk and Yorkshire, and we can see improvements in clinic efficiency, clinical care. Early reports indicate a 10% boost in quality of life for patients who have gained more control over their care. Evidence from other conditions shows that proactive management leads to reduced emergency hospital admissions and significant benefits for the NHS as a whole.


However, despite these clear advantages, widespread adoption of digital condition management within the NHS faces hurdles. Patients must trust these technologies and find them easy to use, while clinicians need assurance that they're effective. Moreover, these technologies must be cost-effective for the NHS, requiring robust business cases to justify investments.


Yet, the potential is immense. With the UK's unparalleled resources—ranging from the scale of the NHS, the excellence of UK research, to the entrepreneurial spirit of British startups—we are uniquely positioned to lead the global charge in data and digital health. Imagine a future where cutting-edge innovations are accessible to every patient, transforming lives and establishing the UK as a leader in healthcare innovation. It's an ambitious vision, but one that's entirely within our reach.

Watch some behind the scenes footage at our Tech Again episode recording... Jeremy tries out a pen that detects Parkinson's!


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1 Comment

Paul Akehurst de Visme
Paul Akehurst de Visme
Mar 09

I am most impressed by how quickly and comprehensively this website has blossomed. Great work.

I have just listened to the latest Podcast on tech and it's promise in diagnosing, monitoring and assisting the neurologists in making decisions about individual cases. I assume the neuro pen is for clinical assessments and not intended for home use, so we will have to wait and see if the tech reaches each of us via our clinicians, or make an effort to enrol. On a program.

The phone app again is not apparently for general consumption, but requires external monitoring and interpretation at a cost.

The Judge is clearly enamoured of his Ouro ring as a personal aid in monitoring his slee…

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