About Augmented Insights
The story behind Augmented Insights goes back to the first decade of the new Millennium, and includes some interesting tangential ideas along the way.
Back in around 2007 Professor Christopher James was undertaking a 3-year project looking at how a combination of sensors and intelligent algorithms could monitor the wellbeing of mental health patients. His work was subsequently awarded funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The project focused on people with bipolar disorder, and grew to involve several Universities across the UK. One person working on the the project was James Amor, who received a PhD in long term monitoring of mental health patients to inform in their wellbeing.
The research quickly attracted interest further afield in Europe. An EU funded project called USEFIL – Unobtrusive Smart Environment for Independent Living – was looking at the wellbeing of older end users and how to help them maintain their independence. USEFIL was looking at how technology could be used at low cost, and operate within an open environment to ensure applications can be easily added or removed. The involvement of the team saw development of a raft of algorithms along with wearable tech to communicate with. This included a wrist-worn smart activity monitor – a forerunner of the current smartwatches – monitoring patient activity.
The success of the work encouraged the EPSRC in 2014 to support further research progress the ideas already developed. A new project was set up called AART-BC; Adaptive Assistive Rehabilitative Technologies beyond the clinic. For this research the algorithms were expanded beyond monitoring patients to also include their mechanical aids, such as wheelchairs and walking frames. By 2018 the research had accumulated a huge amount of intellectual property and expertise around data analytics, AI and machine learning. It was time to throw the doors open and make the research undertaken at Warwick University available for daily use by the tech sector. And so Professor James and Amor created Augmented Insights, turning Ten years of research into an analytics platform for use across industry sectors.
A key step at this point was to deliberately not rush turning the research into a business offering. With support from Innovate UK, Augmented Insights has worked with beta partners to develop the algorithms into a powerful platform for organisations to connect up to. The first application of the research is CareTec.AI, a fast, accurate data analysis service for healthcare software, delivered conveniently via the cloud. Looking ahead, the AI platform is being evaluated for a variety of other areas, including energy and the environment, while there is ability for the platform to analyse for potential issues makes it a useful partner in the fight to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
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