Summit explores how digital innovations will transform NHS

Second annual event hears from leaders in healthcare digital revolution

A major conference looking into how technology and new ways of working are transforming the NHS and improving treatment for millions of patients was attended by clinicians and healthcare providers from across the country.

The second annual Digital Health Summit and Exhibition was hosted by the University of Salford in partnership with NHS England and was held at the University’s Mary Seacole building on Tuesday, 5 July.

Digital health and place-based care is the future of healthcare and enables people to use technology to interact with their healthcare providers, remain well, prevent disease and manage long-term conditions

The conference looked at how digital innovations can support patient-centred place-based healthcare systems in which the focus is shifted from hospitals into communities to prevent illness, shorten hospital stays, and help people to live independently for longer.

The University of Salford aims to become a world centre of excellence in patient-centred care, developing innovations in digital technology such as telemedicine and self-care digital platforms which let patients receive clinical care in their homes.

The NHS is also developing this technology over the next few years as part of wider plans to become fully paperless by 2020.

The one-day summit was chaired by Professor Shahid Ali, the university’s first Professor of Digital Health, who is also a practicing GP in Bradford and has built an international reputation in using digital innovations to give people with long-term conditions more control over their own healthcare.

He is now creating a digital health programme within the university which will focus on patient-centred care and will include a digital health suite which can test innovations before they are deployed at a larger scale across Salford and beyond.

It was also run in conjunction with MedeAnalytics which provides pioneering health analytics systems to care organisations across the UK. MedeAnalytics’ Dr Mark Davies chaired the Managing my Health panel, which demonstrated how intelligent use of data helps put people at the centre of care planning.

This panel also featured health journalist, Daloni Carlisle, who has written about her experiences receiving chemotherapy for cancer of the womb, and who will talk about the benefits of health planning technology from a patient’s point of view.

The summit also featured a series of seminars led by senior NHS figures who talked about ways in which digital technologies are already providing benefits to patients.

At a time when the NHS is under huge pressure, digital health innovations enable patients to help themselves and can also free up large amounts of clinical time – sometimes giving doctors more availability to deal with urgent cases

Speakers included Paul Fleming, regional head of digital technology for NHS England (Midlands and East); and Jamie Sutterby, assistant director for health integration at East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Gina Lawrence, chief operating officer of the NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) also led a seminar.

Professor Ali said: “Digital health and place-based care is the future of healthcare and enables people to use technology to interact with their healthcare providers, remain well, prevent disease and manage long-term conditions.

“At a time when the NHS is under huge pressure, digital health innovations enable patients to help themselves and can also free up large amounts of clinical time – sometimes giving doctors more availability to deal with urgent cases. It’s vital we start using them more effectively.

“This summit brought together healthcare professionals from across the country to talk about how this technology is already being used to help patients, and to share their ideas about how digital health innovations can bring about the large scale change that is needed in the NHS.”

Helen Parslow, MedeAnalytics’s director of marketing and business development, said: “Technological innovation must always support and be used alongside place-based care which lets us look at the needs of a population.

“Working with patients, healthcare professionals and academia, we can help develop and support the growing demands for a healthy population.”

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