by Tashi Gyaltsen, CHERISH-DE Project Officer
I had a great day at the Digital Healthcare Revolution: Harnessing NHS Technology conference in London a couple of weeks ago. It was fascinating to be in a room full of people who are dedicated to harnessing the potential of digital technology to better serve patients in the UK.
Helen Rowntree, Head of Digital Services, NHS England, quoted 6 million people not online in the UK and she echoed Martha Lane Fox’s first recommendation in her proposal for digital NHS to reach the furthest first.
This struck a strong chord with one of CHERISH-DE’s objectives to reach out and engage with resource-constrained communities and empower them to be part of a digital world.
Jason Gordon, Corporate Business Development Manager, Texthelp further explored the concept of digital exclusion and the need to overcome barriers like access, cost, skills and literacy.
Professor Anoop Chauhan, Director of Research and Innovation, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said that digital technology is useless unless we change the way we work first. This chimed with Neil Mortimer, Business Manager, West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, in his simple demonstration of how our services and technologies should be person-centred.
CHERISH-DE is primarily about making a real change in people’s lives. I was moved when Emma Nichols, Personalised Technology Manager, Hft, showed a video of how a simple digital technology such as a digi-wristband can improve the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities and how assistive technology changed Damian Bridgman’s life. Damian has learning difficulties and limited mobility due to being wheelchair-bound, but using assistive technology he is able to read and write on his computer independently and order his favourite item on Amazon!
It was a privilege to be at the conference and I certainly walked away with a better insight of how technology with skills development and human-centred design can genuinely enrich people’s live and help the economy via an accessible and efficient NHS service.
- For a full list of tweets and clips from the conference, search Twitter with the hashtag: #DigiOFE
- See Damian Bridgman’s inspiring story