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Craig Williams, Tim Palarm and Curtis Wadey

Canon Medical and Exeter deal to research child heart disease

Canon Medical is supporting University of Exeter research into heart problems in children.

Canon Medical, one of the leading UK medical imaging equipment corporations, is partnering with the university to co-fund a PhD studentship to research cardiac function, health and fitness in children with paediatric congenital heart disease.

The PhD candidate, Curtis Wadey, started in January 2020 and is working closely with Professor Craig Williams, head of the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (CHERC)

Mr Wadey is also working with Dr Guido Pieles, paediatric cardiologist at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and the Bristol Heart Institute.

“This collaboration with Canon Medical is essential to further the research in paediatric heart research,” Mr Wadey said.

“Canon Medical provide the university and our research group with the essential tools, support and financial backing to research children’s heart disease.”

The CHERC team will have access to state-of-the-art Canon Medical echocardiography equipment, as well as bespoke training and support delivered by the Canon Medical team.

“Having had the chance to work alongside Canon Medical for the last five years, we are really excited by this growing relationship and future opportunities, especially related to paediatric health care,” Professor Williams said.

“There are few centres around the world dedicated to these topics and we are proud of this partnership.”

The aim of this project is not only to improve the understanding of the interaction between heart diseases and exercise, but also to improve and refine exercise guidelines for young people with congenital heart disease with the hope of improving the wellbeing of thousands of children in the UK and beyond.

Mark Hitchman, Managing Director of Canon Medical Systems UK, said: “We at Canon Medical are motivated by partnerships such as this one which we have valued for many years now.

“Taking the partnership to a new level to benefit the young, with known or unknown heart problems, is reward enough.

“However, working in partnership with great people and highly reputable institutions to improve the quality of life, improve life expectancy and even save lives is what really drives us.

“On that basis we are particularly proud of this collaboration.”

Mr Wadey is joined by two other PhD students: Dr Dan-Mihai Dorobantu, a cardiologist whose PhD is funded by the GW4 MRC Doctoral Training Programme; and Nurul Amir, a specialist in rehabilitation, based at the University of Bristol.

Two experienced research fellows, based in Exeter and funded by Canon Medical and the charity Heart Research UK, will join the team later this year.

For years, Canon Medical has been producing optical and imaging products for medical applications, such as CT, MRI, XR and ultrasound systems, which have played a crucial role in many life-saving diagnoses.

This technology will now be combined with the expertise of Professor Williams and his team at CHERC.

The aim of this research unit has always been to raise the profile of children’s health and wellbeing both nationally and internationally, be it by creating awareness about the health risks of children’s inactivity, working on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in school-aged children or advancing the knowledge of exercise benefits for children with chronic medical conditions.

Another of the research unit’s main focuses has also been investigating the health and wellbeing of young athletes, which led to a fruitful first collaboration with Canon Medical, the Bristol Heart Institute and the youth division of Manchester United Football Academy, to investigate the physiology of the young athlete’s heart.

Date: 9 July 2020

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