Advances in technology and healthcare from DICOH18

Last week I attended the Digital Health & Care and Safety of Connected Health: Improvement & Applications Conference (DICOH’18). It was a day brought together by West Midlands Health Informatics Network (WIN) and Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH) at the University of Warwick. It was fantastic! There were some brilliant speakers including Rob Procter, Theo Arvanitis and CIRAL’s own Kim Bul, to just name a few.

Throughout the day there were a number of talks including parallel sessions. Key themes of the day included patient safety and innovation in healthcare. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and learnt something new from each speaker!

What is the future of technology and healthcare?

Technology has huge potential for optimising how we manage and deal with health and healthcare across the world. It’s not quite there yet and we have to admit there is still some way to go to improve its accuracy and efficiency. Nevertheless, it is fascinating what work has been and is currently being done. Attending DICOH18 really highlighted to me that visions, ideas and innovations are really drawing people together from all disciplines to collaborate and make the future of health and healthcare the best.

Failed technology is always being portrayed in the news, for example the recent breast cancer screening algorithm failure. However, it’s easy to blame all the malfunctions and failures on the technology. A human being may have programmed, executed and approved the technology so who/what is really to blame? Nonetheless, one day this will be history and we will look back and see how much more we have learnt and how far we have come. With the implementation of new systems and procedure every day we will wonder how we ever managed without X, Y and Z (being new things that I have no idea about yet). Just like how we can’t imagine life now without the internet and Wi-Fi!

Will clinical health systems in the future all be automated and in real time? Will we have wearable technology that sends all our health information directly to clinicians to feedback straight to patients. I mean we have the technology to 3D print our own medication already – will prescriptions to collect from the pharmacy be a thing of the past?

I’d say this might not be in our life time, but it very well could be. Changes are happening every day. New ways of utilising technology are right in front of us, but we probably rarely pay much attention and take most of it for granted. The DICOH conference really got me thinking; there are so many possibilities and where will it take us. I am so excited and privileged to experience and be a part of these changes happening right in front of me.


Thank you for reading. If you have any other questions about how I found DICOH18 please get in touch!

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