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Can art and design improve heart health?

An experimental design project next month aims to interrogate and reimagine contemporary and scientific research centred on heart disease, energy harvesting and cellular sensing.

Central Saint Martins - one of the six constituent colleges of the University of the Arts London - has invited postgraduate students to join the project exploring questions on how scientists are tackling the problems of heart conditions, how heart cells sense and understand environmental conditions, how scientific research is conducted and how it can be 'hacked by the practices of art and design.

Perhaps a further important question to ask might be why diagnosis and treatment of women who suffer heart attacks lags behind that of men? A report by Chris Gale, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Leeds has shown that thousands of women's lives have been needlessly lost in England and Wales after heart attacks between 2002 and 2013.

The British Heart Foundation drew attention to the research this week, highlighting that there were commonly held myths that heart disease largely affects men, means that women are not aware of the risks or symptoms.

Visiting scientists from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Queen Mary University in London will present their research at Central Saint Martins, to be 'hacked' by a group of artists and designers in a week-long collaborative hackathon. The project will open up cutting edge scientific research to consideration from cultural, political and social perspectives.

Future Cities Forum is holding its 'science cities' conference at Cambridge University in November looking at how hospital design and innovation in medtech can improve patient experience and survival. The forum - with contributions from Tamsin Berry Director of the Office for Life Sciences, Alex van Someren Managing Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners and Dr Bruno Holthof CEO of Oxford University Hospitals - will also discuss the collaborations required to sustain the UK's world-leading position in life sciences and technology.

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