PhD Studentship: Health 4.0: Design of Smart Healthcare Systems

University of Liverpool - School of Engineering

Supervisor/Enquiry contact: Professor Dirk Schaefer (

Funding: The studentship will be funded by EPSRC DTA covering tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for 3 years of your PhD and an annual stipend for 3 years of £14,553 per annum. To be eligible for this funding the candidate should be a UK citizen or an EU citizen that meets the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria. Non-UK/EU students may apply for this project if they have funding to support their studies.

Project Details:

  • BACKGROUND: Driven by networked Electronic Health Record systems, Artificial Intelligence, real-time data from wearable devices with an overlay of invisible user interfaces and improved analytics, a revolution is afoot in the healthcare industry. Over the next few years it is likely to fundamentally change how healthcare is delivered and how the outcomes are measured. The focus on collaboration, coherence, and convergence will make healthcare more predictive and personalised. That revolution is called Health 4.0. Data portability allows patients and their physicians to access it anytime anywhere and enhanced analytics allows for differential diagnosis and medical responses that can be predictive, timely, and innovative. Health 4.0 allows the value of data more consistently and effectively. It can pinpoint areas of improvement and enable more informed decisions. What it also does is help move the entire healthcare industry from a system that is reactive and focused on fee-for-service to a system that is value-based, which measures outcomes and ensures proactive prevention.
  • AIM and SCOPE: The aim of this project is to investigate how smart healthcare systems can be designed effectively and efficiently. The initial phase of the project is concerned with understanding the technological design principles behind Health 4.0 (service-orientation, interoperability, virtualization, decentralized decision making, real-time capabilities) and exploring the range of potential application fields. Phase 2 of the project will focus on investigating, understanding, and assessing the full spectrum of customer requirements for smart healthcare systems and services. In Phase 3, a bespoke design framework/process for smart healthcare systems is to be developed and, in Phase 4 of the project, applied, tested, and validated by means of a real life industry project.
  • RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT: You will work within a vibrant and rapidly growing community of researchers in the Division’s focus areas of Digital Innovation and Human-Centred Design. In addition, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from our Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), the leading UK centre for Virtual Engineering expertise, which delivers technology development; the latest research, training, and knowledge transfer around the application; and adoption of advanced modelling, simulation, and 3D immersive visualisation in support of product design and manufacturing innovation.
  • REQUIRED SKILLS: We are seeking candidates with a minimum of 2:1 (or equivalent) first degree in Design, Engineering, Computer Science/IT, or a related subject. Experience in product design and digital technologies is required, as are strong communication and team working skills.
  • HOW TO APPLY: Please apply through the University of Liverpool’s online system ( with all documents required by the application system, please also include a covering letter for your application.


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Northern England