- 19 October 2017
- Posted in: Health & Social Care, Science & Technology
Not even the remnants of Storm Ophelia battering Oxford Road and its immediate vicinity could prevent 120 healthcare professionals from packing the Barbirolli Room in the grand Bridgewater Hall for Open Forum’s latest conference in the DigiHealth UK events series; Harnessing Technology and Innovation.
Before October’s instalment, Open Forum Events have produced DigiHealth UK: Enhancing the Patient’s Journey (2017) and DigiHealth UK: Transforming Healthcare Delivery (2016), with future conferences already in the works for 2018.
The day’s stacked agenda included presentations from fifteen of the leading minds in public and private healthcare; including Richard Stubbs, CEO of Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, Cleveland Henry, Programme Director of NHSmail, Yinka Makinde of DigitalHealth. London and Mike Trenell, Professor of Metabolism and Lifestyle Medicine at Newcastle University to meld ideas and review developments in the digital revolution in patient care in pursuit of an innovative, digitalised National Health Service; from the simplest patient-clinician transaction to the most complex surgical procedure.
"The time is right to invest in digital healthcare"
Dr. Kath Mackay, Interim Deputy Director of Healthcare at Innovate UK
Delegates in attendance were presented with the latest advances in digital healthcare, amongst them being: the benefits of assistive technology, its role in breaking down communication barriers as well as creating accessible patient-professional information channels, the progress of England’s 23 Global Digital Exemplars (comprised of 16 acute trusts and 17 mental health trusts), how ‘wearables’ like iRhythm’s Zio are providing new approaches to population health management and the growth of the North West Digital Powerhouse.
In contrast, attendees were presented with the drawbacks and shortcomings of the NHS’ digital services; how healthcare apps are prone to large scale user drop offs within the first 90 days of use, as well as online content’s tendency to provide misinformation that potentially creates increased and unnecessary burdens on healthcare providers.
Additionally, the conference provided a platform for extensive networking between representatives from digital healthcare innovators and patient care providers from all walks of the profession; policy officers, CEO’s, consultants, clinical operators, patient experience managers and even firefighters had the opportunity to share knowledge, network and test brand-new technological innovations from Q-nomy, Oracle Healthcare, Texthelp, Aire Logic and Now Healthcare Group amongst others in the Bridgewater Hall’s exhibitions and networking suite.
The team found the event extremely worthwhile and look forward to working with Open Forum Events in the future.
Judy Lenane, Chief Clinical Officer, iRhythm Technologies
Emma-Jayne French, Chief Commercial Officer of Now Healthcare Group noted in her keynote address that, in their drive to support a new, effective and efficient healthcare model that simplifies patient’s access to care by allowing users to manage their own healthcare from the most convenient locations, NHG found that the digital dispensing of repeat prescriptions saved the NHS more than £212m since 2011. Additionally, 90% of people feel that digital consultations are helpful in instances such as ‘push notifications’ that can alert patients when to take medication.
"It’s amazing what a small piece of technology can do for the NHS!"
Emma-Jane French, Chief Commercial Officer, Now Healthcare Group
Neil Carson, Public Sector Customer Experience Specialist at Oracle UK showcased their innovative use of technology to free up time, money and resources for the NHS as well as expedite the referral process in the form of one of its online well being surveys designed to identify an individual’s healthcare requirements before they enter the referral procedure. During Neil’s keynote speech he invited the audience to take part in one of Oracle’s online questionnaires intended to identify whether the user has an alcohol dependency issue that requires medical attention. As the audience filled out the survey on their phones, Neil took the quiz on the large screen projector above the lectern to demonstrate the ease with which one can assess their potential substance abuse issue before being prompted to make a self-referral booking in real time; as opposed to the manual method of doing so that takes between 5 – 7 days.
DigiHealth UK: Harnessing Technology and Innovation was a widely successful platform for sharing industry developments and building relationships that will ultimately benefit British patients and NHS infrastructure as it continues its surge towards an entirely paperless NHS in 2020.