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Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design Wins Innovator Award at AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards

The RCA's Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design (HHCD) won two out of seven awards at the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards, presented at the Design Museum. A third award went to Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) alumna Lise Pape.

The AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards, take a snapshot of recent health tech developments, and examine what these changes could mean for the public, designers, medical professionals, and users of new technologies.

Awarded 'The One to Watch', which recognises technological innovations that are not yet in the spotlight but which have the potential to significantly impact on people’s lives in the future, is SlowMo, a smartphone app that aims to help the 30% of Londoners who experience paranoia or fears that others want to do them harm. Created by clinical psychologist Amy Hardy and RCA Innovation Design Engineering graduate Anna Wojdecka, the app is the first 'digital therapy platform' to help calm sufferers, and is currently undergoing clinical trials.

InnovationRCA Fellow Lise Pape's project Path was awarded the 'Independent Living Award', designed to identify the most promising health technology developed in the last year to support independent living for the elderly. Path aims to overcome the ‘fear of falling’ while walking felt by many sufferers of diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s, which are chronic neurodegenerative disorders that often affect mobility. This ‘fear of falling’ can often be as debilitating as the physical limitations of the diseases themselves.

The prestigious institutional 'Innovator Award', which looks for visionaries who have developed some of the most ground-breaking health tech products or services in the past year, was awarded for the Centre's consistent contribution to healthcare. HHCD were in competition with Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, among others and were described by the judging panel as having 'championed best practice in teaching with an international reach, delivering game-changing research and backed some of the most creative start-ups and inventive ideas. Their hard work and sheer genius has earned them deserved recognition throughout industry'.

Rama Gheerawo, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, said, 'We are deeply delighted to win the Innovator Award in a field with such strong competition. The awards are really important in showcasing a people-centred approach to health and technology – part of our core philosophy at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. It was a glittering evening showcasing a glittering set of projects.'