Dr Val Jones

IAS Fellow at St Cuthbert’s Society, Durham University (October – December 2014)

Dr Val Jones is a Senior Researcher at Associate Professor level in the Telemedicine Group, Biomedical Signals and Systems, at the University of Twente in The Netherlands, where she works on mobile health applications to support remote monitoring and treatment.

Dr Jones received a BA Hons. in English Language and Literature and a PhD in Computational Sociolinguistics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Since then she has conducted research at the Universities of Newcastle, Stirling, Aberdeen and Twente in the areas of Computational Linguistics, Computer Science, Health Services Research and Biomedical Engineering. In 1992 Dr Jones was appointed project leader of the Patient Healthcard Evaluation Project, a health telematics project at the University of Aberdeen where she conducted a randomised controlled trial involving 15000 patients in Grampian Region. In 1996 she joined the University of Twente as a Senior Researcher to work on distributed multimedia applications in elearning and ehealth. In 2001 she initiated a new research theme relating to the use of Body Area Networks for mobile health monitoring and was jointly responsible for the scientific coordination of the European project MobiHealth. As technology advances this research theme continues to grow in importance and has spawned a series of European and Dutch research collaborations which won funding from the European Commission and the Dutch Government for the University of Twente and partners.

Dr Jones’ scientific publications include two books and more than 100 papers in Computer Science, Sociolinguistics, Classification Theory, Health Services Research and Health Informatics. In 2008-9 she was Visiting Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her professional titles are MBCS, CEng, CITP, Eur Ing.

Dr Jones’ current research interests include Body Area Networks for mhealth, mobile and distributed Clinical Decision Support, application of modelling approaches to the design and development of mhealth systems and future possibilities for smart health enabled by emerging technologies such as Ambient Intelligence and nanotechnologies. She is currently involved in the European project MobiGuide and the Dutch project Telecare at Home.

MobiGuide – Guiding Patients Anytime, Everywhere develops an advanced Patient Guidance System which supports patients with chronic illnesses in the day-to-day management of their health. The system gives advice 24/7 whether the patient is at home, at work, out and about or travelling for business or holiday. The patient wears small sensors that monitor biosignals such as heart rate and blood pressure. The signals are transmitted to the patient’s smartphone and from there to a powerful “backend” computer system. Together the smartphone and the backend system analyse biosignals and context data and give personalized advice based on clinical guidelines. The system also helps the patient’s medical team to follow the best medical practise encapsulated in the guidelines. During the project this intelligent decision support system is piloted on patients with specific chronic illnesses, namely atrial fibrillation and gestational diabetes.

Dr Jones believes in the importance of taking a multidisciplinary approach to research challenges involving people, technology and society. Whilst at the IAS at Durham she will work with leading researchers at Durham and other collaborators in the North East to investigate the opportunities and challenges offered by the future prospect of Personalised Telemedicine.