Rounding up the WMAHSN’s Digital Health Summit

Posted on 24 September 2019 (Permalink)

On 12th September, West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) presented its 2019 Digital Health Summit at the Botanical Gardens, welcoming an impressive line-up of speakers, innovative ideas and conversation around ground-breaking digital health technology. Unable to join us? We’ve rounded up the key thoughts from the day.


Network Partners  

Neil Mortimer, Head of Digital Health at WMAHSN, opened the day discussing some of the exciting projects for the network, including the Dell Incubator in Austin, Texas and Health 2.0, a global digital health network with partners across the world. Our keynote speaker, Nigel Sturrock, Regional Medical Director at NHS England & Improvement, discussed the future of the NHS, reminding everyone that time will be the greatest gift in realising just how impactful health technology can be.


To demonstrate how the WMAHSN benefits businesses with digital health solutions, we were introduced to some of the recent collaborations with industry and academia. Rich Westman, CEO and founder at Kaido, told us how the WMAHSN has allowed his digital wellbeing service to grow from a coffeeshop idea to an aspirational healthcare business; whilst Paul Bird from NIHR ARC explained how the WMAHSN has been instrumental in identifying key NHS partners. Similarly, Dr Julian Sonksen, from Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative, explained the importance of creating a culture of Quality Improvement to enhance patient safety; whilst Mike Emery, Head of Corporate Development at Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, spoke about how the network helped to shape a ‘digital story’ for the rural Midlands, an area that has been slow to adopt innovation.


Digital Skills

As innovation continues to grow within the West Midlands, it’s important the industry remembers that all aspects of the healthcare sector need to be well-acquainted with the digital world in order to reap the rewards of health technology. Both DefactoED and Institute of Coding (IOC) brought the same vision to their workshop: to upskill the workforce by teaching them the digital skills they need. DefactoED is an online digital education company that uses modern-day learning styles to engage staff with digital change, whilst the IOC functions across 33 UK universities to enhance digital skills.

In addition to teaching digital skills, it’s essential to make the most of the digitally innate. Mick Westman from Digital Innov8ors spoke about his aim to do just this with his employability programme boosting young people’s digital skills. Similarly, Ellen Hughes introduced everyone to the Digital Healthcare Scientist programme at WMAHSN which offers both practical and academic skills to young people within the sector.


Working with Industry

This range of workshops showcased the best of recent innovation in the Midlands, from Midlands and Lancashire CSU offering the NHS cutting-edge tech solutions and Arcus Global developing market-leading cloud solutions, to ChatHealth offering an online advice service to young people. B13 Technology also led an inspiring talk about taking small steps toward innovation stating that: “No idea is a bad idea”.


The variety in innovation is vast, but each one is bringing a unique contribution to the digital health landscape – and the Digital Health Summit 2019 certainly highlighted that. If you missed this one but want to keep in the loop with WMAHSN, please keep up to date with our LinkedIn or Twitter, or visit our website.