Counting Down to My e-Health Week Experience

Big Ben

I’m both proud and delighted to announce that one of my first duties as HIMSS International’s new chief clinical officer will be to take an active part in this year’s UK e-Health Week.

The event has always been a key date – May 15-16 – in the digital calendar, but this year it somehow feels even more important. Health tech’s profile is higher than ever and for good reason – the National Health Service (NHS) is at critical crossroads; taking the road marked ‘digital transformation’ will guarantee a successful onward journey.

That’s why it’s so exciting to see that the agenda for UK e-Health Week 2018 is the most ambitious and compelling yet.

Key themes for this year are leadership, global learning and digital advances. Core content has been shaped around the pressing challenges of data and population health, cybersecurity, professional development, digitizing care and digital therapeutics, moving to the cloud and encouraging public participation.

People to See at UK e-Health Week

We’ll be hearing from and networking with over 100 different speakers, including national leaders such as Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s director for operations and information, who will be asking whether digital can save the NHS, national chief clinical information officer (CCIO), Simon Eccles, exploring what tomorrow’s CCIO will look like, NHS England’s chief digital officer Juliet Bauer and Will Smart, chief information officer (CIO) health and care in England.

There will also be an opportunity to join in with debates and discussions hosted by members of the HIMSS UK Advisory Board including:

  • Rachel Dunscombe, chief executive of the NHS Digital Academy
  • Victoria Betton, PhD, founder and director of mHabitat
  • Anne Cooper, chief nurse at NHS Digital
  • Richard Corbridge, CIO Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Afzal Chaudhry, BSc, MA, PhD, MBCS, FHEA, FRCP, FAcadMEd, chief clinical information officer at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Andy Kinnear, chair, BCS Health and Director of Digital Transformation, NHS South Central and West CSU

In a first for UK e-Health Week, this year we will be able to hear from two high profile international guests – Taavi Kotka, the former CIO for the Estonian Government and Marcus East, chief technology officer for National Geographic. These two renowned global innovators are sure to provide fascinating insights and lessons based on their respective experiences of leading Estonia’s pioneering e-Citizen program and overseeing the world’s biggest digital brand.

Beyond the Typical Conference Experience

UK e-Health Week has been designed to provide much, much more than the usual conference experience. As well as seeing first hand some of the technologies that are making a positive difference to patients right now, there will be facilitated opportunities to meet the presenters, engage with exhibitors and sponsors, learn new skills and hear real stories of success from the frontline – no doubt, some relating to the recent submission of bids to be one of the Local Health and Care Record Exemplars.

This year’s event even boasts a dedicated Global Digital Exemplar zone, where the trailblazers in healthcare technology will be showcasing their successes and sharing their learning.

I am looking forward to leveraging my first major HIMSS event as an opportunity to meet a wide variety of health information and technology professionals, and to learn directly from them how HIMSS UK can best support the delivery of the NHS’s demanding digital agenda. The HIMSS vision, both internationally and in the UK, is built around the provision of the right information and tools to help innovators succeed, and events like UK e-Health Week are the perfect opportunity to understand where the priorities lie from the viewpoint those working at the coal face.

I would strongly recommend that if you haven’t already booked your place, you act quickly to be part of the great digital debate.