General information

Newcastle University is the co-ordinator of the IDEA-FAST project. It has a reputation for research expertise in health and data science and has a joint research office with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Research focus /
Clinical expertise/
Key personnel

Patients with the following immune-mediated inflammatory diseases:

  • Primary Sjögren’s syndrome

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Wan-Fai Ng – Professor
‘Hi my name is Fai. I am a Professor of Rheumatology at Newcastle University. I also work in the NHS as a Consultant Rheumatologist. My speciality is Primary Sjogren’s Syndrome and I am very interested in researching fatigue. My role in IDEA-FAST is to coordinate the consortium as well as be the Principal Investigator at Newcastle for the feasibility study.’

Kristen Davies – Doctor
‘Hi my name is Kris. I’m a junior doctor in Newcastle with a research background in Medical Sciences. My job title is Clinical Research Fellow and I am based at Newcastle University. My role involves helping set up research projects, recruiting patients to studies and looking at research findings. Please contact me if you would like to take part in IDEA-FAST study and I can give you more information.’

Jay Rainey – Research Nurse
Hi, I’m Jay Rainey, a researcher at Open Lab in Newcastle University interested in how sensor data can be made more meaningful to users. My role in IDEA-FAST involves researching and evaluating the accessibility and usability of sensor devices worn by patients, and working with patients to understand their experiences with using devices during IDEA-FAST. I am also involved in the design and development of a digital platform that provides an overview of devices and data they produce to make managing and using devices easier for patients and staff. Previously, my PhD research involved working with citizens to co-design a digital platform that makes contributing to qualitative research participatory, accessible, and inclusive for everyone.

Victoria Macrae – Clinical Project Manager
‘Hi my name is Vicki. I started working in Rheumatology research in 2012. I have a degree in Pharmacology and Clinical Research. My job title is Clinical Trials Officer and I am based at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. My role involves setting up research projects and recruiting patients to studies. Please contact me if you would like to take part in IDEA-FAST study and I can give you more information.’

Jan Smeddinck – Digital Technology Lead
‘Hi, I’m Jan. I work as a Lecturer in Digital Health at Open Lab (School of Computing) at Newcastle University. I have experience working on projects using sensing devices. My PhD focused on digital health systems specifically designed for patients. As a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction, I am interested in furthering our understanding of how we can make digital systems work better for people. In IDEA-FAST, I lead a group aimed at selecting devices for the project and offering technical support throughout.’

Karl Wood – Lab Technician
‘Hi my name is Karl. I started working at the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle university in 2015 as a laboratory technician. I currently work as a Research technician for the Sjögren’s team in Newcastle. I am involved in multiple Sjögren’s related research projects as well as studies involving chronic fatigue. My role in IDEA-FAST involves collecting and processing the biological samples in the labs.’


In addition to the overall co-ordination of the IDEA-FAST project, Newcastle university’s main tasks are:

  • Creation of a technical team that selects the most suitable devices to be included in the study.
  • Design a larger study that will follow the feasibility study to further investigate findings.
  • Engage with agencies involved in regulation of the project.
  • Provide technical support to centres throughout the study.
  • Support the development of a software package that can analyse fatigue data from the digital devices.
  • Recruit to the two studies.

Feasibility study recruitment

Planned start: September 2020
Target recruitment:

  • Primary Sjögren’s syndrome -18
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – 18
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – 18
  • Healthy controls -10

Clinical validation study recruitment

Contact details