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Start date

April 2015

Project title                         

Measurement and Improvement of Physical Activity in Preoperative Patients using Wearable Accelerometers


Mr Ben Turney

Professor Freddie Hamdy

Oxford Technology Showcase

Dr Cui was invited to talk at the Oxford University Innovation, Oxford AHSN & NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Technology Showcase on 6 July 2016. Her presentation 'Working towards a personalised surgical pathway' is available to view on the Oxford University Innovation website.

Helen Cui


DPhil student

I am a urology registrar in the Thames Valley deanery and have taken time out of training to undertake a DPhil starting in 2015, funded by the Allison Hanson Trust, McLaren Applied Technologies and a research fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons. I am based at the NDS and Churchill Hospital, as a Principle Investigator in a patient study of prehabilitation before major urological surgery. My supervisors are Mr Benjamin Turney and Professor Freddie Hamdy. I work in collaboration with Dr John Griffiths at the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics and with the Movement Science Group and Physiotherapy department of Oxford Brookes University.

I am working on research that aims to optimize patient fitness before major surgery. It is thought that preoperative intervention or ‘prehabilitation’ can improve a patient’s ability to cope with the demands of major surgery and thereby reduce postoperative length of stay and complications. I have formed a research group with surgeons, anaesthetists, physiotherapists and engineers to work on the improving the implementation of exercise intervention in the preoperative period. This includes trying to answer questions related to prehabilitation on how to measure the amount of physical activity achieved in an exercise program, and how this relates to cardiorespiratory fitness. We have completed a patient study that links preoperative daily physical activity levels to cardiopulmonary exercise testing performance. We are now conducting a feasibility study of preoperative exercise intervention for patients who may require major urological surgery. This aims to improve the implementation of prehabilitation by using a pragmatic, low burden, delivery method using semi-supervised home exercise, with remote activity monitoring and regular feedback.