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Conference round up!

Steph Wright

14th December 2018

I have been attending quite a few conferences and workshops and events on behalf of the Cancer Innovation Challenge in the past few months so I thought I’d write up a quick summary of them (I am totally stealing this idea from IHDP’s recent blog!).

I’ll go back as far as 9 October when I visited Dunblane for the Realistic Medicine: Valuing People conference. It was very inspiring to hear about the efforts all over NHS Scotland to adopt the Realistic Medicine approach and building a more personalised approach to care.

And then there was the NCRI Conference at the beginning of November of course which you can read a wee bit about in a separate article.

I then attended the first in a series of three workshops organised by the Edinburgh Futures Institute and Usher Institute and facilitated by the International Futures Forum. The theme was Technology and Community Health and the workshop structured discussions around the three horizons model with a group of participants from a range of backgrounds. The discussions which ensued were fascinating and one of my key takeaways from the workshop was that we need to embrace technology in the widest sense and not just in hardware.

Next up was the National Test Bed Governance Group which I was very honoured to be invited to join. It was great to be able to update the group on the work of the Cancer Innovation Challenge and to hear about the efforts being made to encourage innovation and the adoption of these innovations in the healthcare sector.

Closing November off were two large events, the Digital Health & Social Care Conference and the Macmillan Transforming Care After Treatment (TCAT) Final Conference: What Matters to You Matters to Me. Both were great events and it is truly motivating to hear about all the great work going on in digital health and social care. The TCAT event was particularly moving to hear the stories of people making a difference to the lives of those living with cancer. One key theme across both events was the need for digital transformation and that digital transformation doesn’t just mean digitising what was done before. Rethink, redesign, co-create and co-design were the key themes. 

At the TCAT conference, I also got the chance to experience the brilliant installation from Empathy Museum called A Mile In My Shoes. It was a wonderful and poignant opportunity to listen to different lived perspectives ranging from clinicians, to patients and to carers.

And then we were into December and it started off with a workshop that I was very privileged to be invited to around cybersecurity in health data science, especially around industry-academia collaborations hosted by the Usher Institute and the MRC. This was an engaging and fun workshop using the Delphi thinkathon framework and I hope to update you in the near future with the outcomes.

And last but not least was an event in London on 11 December 2018 celebrating the work of the Understanding Patient Data project and looking forward to its next steps. Hosted in the fabulous Wellcome Trust building on Euston Road, it was great to on the work that Understanding Patient Data has done over the past few years and to look forward to what its next steps are. A key strength of their project was their focus on patient data and their independence. We have certainly appreciated the support and advice they have given us during our journey and we look forward to working with them in the future.

Phew, there were quite a few events. I am reassured and very excited by them as they made it clear that there is a lot of fantastic work going on in data and healthcare and we’re delighted to have played a small role in it all.

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