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Cambridge Public Health

Advanced technology, collection of patient tests on the monitor during surgery.

Using an engineer’s eye to identify challenges in health and care systems


The challenges facing the health and social care system are considerable — with competing pressures from an ageing population, increasing numbers of patients with multiple morbidities and the need for increasing efficiencies. At the same time, technological advancements and their integration into daily life are opening up new opportunities for health promotion, population health interventions, and precision medicine.

The result is a complex sociotechnical system of health and care which faces multiple pressures and serves the needs of a huge variety of stakeholders. Given this complexity, efforts to improve this system often achieve only limited benefits and can have unforeseen consequences. Over the past two decades, there have been numerous calls to implement a more holistic systems approach to transform health and care to address the needs of a changing population.

What we do

Our aim is to use an engineer’s eye to help identify challenges in health and care systems. We work with engineers and public health researchers to both design more effective and resilient health and care systems and to better inform treatment, for example, by identifying technologies needed to improve public health and individual patient care.

Technology and Systems team

For more information about the research theme please email Dr Tom Bashford


Healthcare Innovation Programme

The Healthcare Innovation programme aims to enhance the ability of people to innovate in the healthcare sector. Jointly developed by the Department of Engineering and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the programme consists of three successive part-time courses designed to fit with the demands of full-time employment.  

Find out more about other teaching and training programmes related to public health here