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Medical LiveWire Global Awards 2017/18 trophy, awarded to Professor Robert J. Stone for Excellence in VR Healthcare Technology
Professsor Stone won the Medical LiveWire Global Award for excellence in VR healthcare technology

Professor Bob Stone, Director of the Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team at the University of Birmingham, recently won a  LiveWire Global Award for his team's contribution to medical creativity, vision and ethical practice.

The Medical LiveWire Global Awards are a celebration of medical achievement, recognising organisations and individuals who have contributed in their respective fields during the past 12 months.

The awards team received nominations from 19 countries over the past year. The judging panel at Medical LiveWire considered the strengths of each shortlisted candidate, setting its sights firmly on the most ground breaking organisations, teams and individuals.

The criteria for the programme included companies that displayed medical creativity, vision, received industry recognition and ethical practice.

The judging panel recognised Professor Stone Stone as one of the foremost global experts in the field of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, with more than 30 years of experience in the field. The panel were particularly impressed by the number of 'firsts' which can be attributed to Bob, including the world's first tactile glove for VR applications (Teletact) in the early '90s and his surgical training research, also in the '90s , which led to the development of a suite of simulated perceptual-motor tasks for a unique keyhole surgery VR trainer (MIST), which was, for nearly a decade, the "industry standard" in skills training.

Today, Bob and the HIT Team are actively involved in the development of new VR concepts including the programmes to support the rehabilitation of intensive care patients that have undergone surgery and "Mixed Reality" concepts to help train future defence paramedics. Recently, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT) has teamed up with Professor Bob Stone and his team to install and trial their “Virtual Reality Wembury” project within Torbay Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), to help improve patient rehabilitation.

Awards Director, Kevin Norden, commented: “The 2018 Medical LiveWire Global Awards have recognised a high calibre of winners that have displayed a strong motivation and drive to achieve fantastic results within the medical community.  We are delighted to have worked with them and look forward to seeing their future developments.”

Reflecting on his award, Bob said: "It's a real honour to be recognised by the LiveWire Global Awards for the work my team and I have undertaken since I joined the University in 2003. I'm especially proud of the work we've done to support patient rehabilitation, plus our continuing efforts supporting the future training of defence paramedics, and am looking forward to working with more partners in healthcare to ensure more patients benefit from the latest developments in Virtual and Mixed Reality."