Major funding for dizziness device research

A pioneering device, developed in Norfolk, to help patients with dizziness problems has received a major funding boost to be trialled nationally.

Researchers from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and University of East Anglia (UEA) have been awarded £1.25m by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to further develop a device that monitors dizziness and diagnoses its causes.

The Continuous Ambulatory Vestibular Assessment (CAVA) aims to speed up the diagnosis of the most common causes of dizziness by analysing hours of eye and head movement data.

The lightweight and durable device has been developed over the past three years by a team led by ENT Consultant John Phillips at NNUH and Prof Stephen Cox in the School of Computing Sciences at UEA and funded by the Medical Research Council. It is worn daily for many weeks by dizziness sufferers, and the data it records is then analysed by a computer to identify periods of dizziness and to suggest their possible cause.

The award from the NIHR is to fund a large-scale project that will involve the participation of ten hospitals across the UK.

By the end of the project, it is hoped to have a device that can automatically identify some of the most common causes of dizziness.

Mr John Phillips said: “I am delighted that NIHR have decided to fund the next stage of this exciting project, as it provides a real opportunity to improve the lives of patients who are distressed by dizziness, vertigo and balance disorders.”

Prof Cox said: “This project unites medical expertise with artificial intelligence to help patients get treatments quickly and save the NHS money. We are delighted to have the funding to bring our device a step closer to use in clinics and hospitals.”

More information about this research project.

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