Industry showcase promotes success of Connected Health Cities project

north west icon North West Coast

Posted on the 2nd August 2018

A CHC Industry Showcase was held event at Citylabs in Manchester on July 4 to promote the success of Connected Health Cities (CHC) to new and existing industry collaborators.

The aim was to engage new industry contacts and re-engage existing ones by highlighting all of the programme’s strengths, outlining the work CHC has completed so far as well as promoting the benefits of industry collaborating with CHC either through the spin in lab, the care pathways or the health ICT industry consortium.

Throughout the day, attendees got the chance to listen to a variety of inspirational speakers who are working on CHC including Professor of Clinical Evaluation at the University of Liverpool, Mike Pearson, who demonstrated how the North West Coast CHC has been creating Learning Health Systems across multiple disease areas.

He explained how a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) with secure storage and access has been created at Aimes and hospital data from 4.1 million residents across the North West Coast has been obtained from NHS Digital which is being analysed at the University of Liverpool.

Analysts have been creating maps of disease hotspots whilst researchers have been talking to patients and clinicians about the care pathways for alcohol, COPD and epilepsy. The data will be used to re-design services for the three conditions.

Professor Pearson stressed a need for medicine to make the most of new technology. He said: “If you think of how computing has changed driving – we’ve gone from the old A to Z to using satellite navigation. But medicine has been left standing.

He mused: “Could using and linking data be the first step towards our medical satnav to travel pathways?

Dr David Hughes, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Innovation Agency, gave a presentation of data and technological health challenges across the north of England, whilst managing to weave in some very apt football puns as the event was held during the World Cup!

He said: “We need to up our game – reusing and building on the power of data.”

The event also provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of involving patients and the public in CHC.

Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Debbie Parkinson, from the North West Coast CHC gave a presentation on her work on making sure patients have a voice in their healthcare.

She explained: “The role of the patient and public is no longer as a passive recipient of care. Nowadays, we are all expected to engage patients in their own health, care and treatment.

“There are also a number of initiatives to encourage patient involvement in the design, planning and delivery of health services.”

Debbie explained how she helped to set up a Public Involvement and Engagement Senate (PIES) to give feedback on CHC work in the North West Coast.

There are now 25 PIES members of who have been involved in many CHC projects, from sitting on citizens’ juries and writing a survey to find out how people feel about sharing their health data to designing a consent wizard for health apps to ask people about their data sharing preferences.

Debbie was accompanied at the event by one of the PIES members, Jim Organ, who joined the group in 2017. Jim told how he became involved in the senate in 2017 and described projects he’s been involved in, as well as admitting his scepticism on sharing his health data has dissolved since finding out how it could be used through CHC and visiting Aimes.

He said: “My first meeting was a discussion on sharing health data and I admit I was sceptical.  My first thoughts were ‘who’s it going to be shared with? I was concerned about security.

“Then we had a trip around Aimes, the secure centre in Liverpool where the data is housed. The security there is second to none and I left there with all my doubts resolved.

“I now believe that using patient data is the key to ensuring the NHS survives.”

Presentations from the showcase are available for download here

For more information on how CHC is working with industry view this short video

PIES member Jim Organ talks about his role on the Senate



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