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Alexander Rushforth

PhD


Post-doctoral researcher

Innovation, organizational change, science and technology, digital health, stratified medicine, research impact, social theory

Through my research and teaching I try to make sense of the (non-) adoption, scale-up, spread and sustainability of (principally high-tech) research and technology-driven change programs in healthcare. 

I am currently lead researcher on a program of ‘research on research’ in NIHR Oxford BRC (running from 2017 to 2022), which focuses on ‘Co-Creation’ – collaborative knowledge production by academics working alongside other stakeholders in the healthcare economy. This builds on my longstanding interest in problems associated with research waste - ‘ivory tower’ research that (for whatever reason) is not implemented - and various organisational and policy efforts seeking to mitigate this.

In collaboration with Professor Trish Greenhalgh and team, I have been working with NIHR Oxford BRC themes and their patient, industry, and policy partners, to apply principles of co-creation to innovative projects in the spaces of personalised medicine and digital health. These include longitudinal action research case studies of:

- Digitisation of digital histopathology services across a regional network of NHS hospitals, supporting service improvement and assembling image datasets for machine learning research

- Development of a software decision-support tool for streamlining cancer multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings  

- Attempts to spread and sustain electronic blood transfusion management systems at a national level

- Efforts to introduce at scale precision respiratory medicine diagnostics and treatments into NHS primary care 

My research tends to be qualitative and ethnographic in nature, and is supported theoretically by work in the critical social sciences, particularly science and technology studies and organisation and management theory. 

I am currently co-developing a teaching module for the new MSc in Translational Health Sciences at Oxford, starting in 2020. This module will focus on health research systems (organised networks of researchers and stakeholders who provide a context for research and its uptake and application) and efforts to evaluate research impact within these structures. I also teach on the Advanced Qualitative Research module within the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Science’s MSc in Evidence Based Healthcare. I am keen to hear from potential DPhil (i.e. PhD) students interested in exploring any of the above through a critical social science lens.

A brief introduction to a recent project on digitisation of clinical research delivery can be followed via this link:

https://twitter.com/OxPrimaryCare/

status/1126832848542027776



Key publications

Recent publications