Innovation in medicine: digital health focus

5th July 2018 by Yvonne Adebola

It was a pleasure to be part of the Royal College of Physicians annual Innovation in Medicine Conference last month with a lively array of speakers sharing insights on how inspiring projects are reshaping the medical landscape. Our favourite session was focused on digital health with Tony Young, National Clinical Lead for Innovation, NHS England where several exciting innovations in medicine were discussed.

Tony Young shared details of the NHS England’s Clinical Enterpreneurs programme first conceptualised in 2015 to promote entrepreneurship in the among clinicians in the NHS, and the tremendous success of the programme. The first cohort raised 50 million in funding with over 200 applicants accepted to join the next programme. The scheme, originally designed for clinicians was extended to healthcare scientists and dentists and provides high-level support including direct mentoring by experts in medical technology. We applaud the fantastic work being done here, wish the next cohort all successes and look forward to hearing more of their achievements!

Juliet Bauer discussed the launch of the new NHS App, which was recently covered by BBC news. The app which aims to give patients more control over their health by enabling people to access their medical records, schedule appointments, donate organs and more. We’re really interested to see this and applaud such government led initiatives to improve patient care. Like the Royal College of General Practitioners we give this a ‘cautious welcome’ also echoing the comment from Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard that security must remain a priority. We want this initiative to be done the right way so that data is kept safe and doesn’t end up in the wrong place!

Sarah Heywood from MedCity, shared information on the great work they are doing to promote life sciences investment, entrepreneurship and industry in the South eastern region, including a current programme being run to support companies who need to generate evidence within digital health and other technologies. We were also privileged to hear from Dominic King from Google owned DeepMind Technologies, spoke about their partnership with Moorfields Eye hospital developing artificial intelligence to be used to diagnose eye disease. This technology holds promise to be smarter and better and doctors at this intricate diagnoses.

Lastly, our Founder Dr Felix Jackson spoke about getting to the point where we launched a medCrowd, the instant messenger for health and care. “We are extremely proud of what has been achieved so far especially because medCrowd is self-funded.” he said. Our focus is on longevity as we want everyone to receive the best care and we are happy we have scope for freedom and flexibility to invest in our future.

Plans for next year’s Innovation in Medicine conference are already underway and you can now register your interest – hope to see you there!