New partnership in health innovation connects Australia and Spain

New partnership in health innovation connects Australia and Spain

Innovative therapy to assist with brain injury rehabilitation is extending to Spain as part of a new agreement between RMIT and one of the country’s largest teaching hospitals.

The interactive tools developed by RMIT researcher Dr Jonathan Duckworth in collaboration with Professor Peter Wilson at the Australian Catholic University and Professor David Shum at Griffith University is part of an RMIT technology demonstration centre being established at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona.

The researchers' work is specifically designed for patients with upper-body injuries, such as from acquired brain injury, stroke or cerebral palsy, and helps for basic movement skills to be learnt again using a touchscreen table top.

The opportunity is part of a 36-month partnership between RMIT and Vall d’Hebron University Hospital that was recently signed in Barcelona by RMIT Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean, General Manager of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Dr Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez and Director of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute Dr Joan Comella Carnicé.

The collaboration, which was facilitated by RMIT Europe, also involves teaching and learning exchanges for RMIT and Vall d'Hebron University Hospital staff, coordination of a joint research agenda as well as hosting events in areas of health innovation and policy including an Urban Health Forum in Barcelona in October. 

RMIT Europe's Executive Director Marta Fernandez said the collaboration and the agreed initiatives highlight RMIT's commitment to health innovation and technology as well as its focus on extending the global impact of its research. 

"The field of biomedical and health innovation is one of RMIT's eight enabling capability platforms and incorporates theranostics, biomedical technology and health and lifestyle.

"Our collaboration with Vall d'Hebron University Hospital also draws on the University's expertise across design and creative practice, which is the research platform supporting the technology developed by RMIT researcher Dr Jonathan Duckworth.

"As a way of connecting these platforms to Europe, we are appointing a Digital Health, Innovation and Wellbeing leader to be based here in Barcelona and will work closely with Vall d’Hebron University Hospital to roll out the agreed activities and initiatives.

"We are thrilled with this new partnership and look forward to exploring further opportunities for collaboration," she said. 

Story: Karen Matthews and Andy Sondalini

RMIT and Vall d’Hebron University Hospital staff in Barcelona at the signing ceremony held at RMIT Europe. RMIT and Vall d’Hebron University Hospital staff in Barcelona at the signing ceremony held at RMIT Europe.
27 September 2017


27 September 2017


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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.