Today marked the beginning of Child Health Technology 2021 (CHT2021). This virtual conference brings together healthcare professionals, industry experts, engineers, designers, academics, and patient representatives. Over 230 delegates from across the globe registered for the conference.
The conference kicked off with a thought-provoking lunchtime seminar delivered by Dr James Woollard (NHS England) on “Supporting children and young people’s mental health in the internet age, at the time of a pandemic, and beyond.”
Next up, Professor Paul Dimitri (NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Co-operative) delivered the conference welcome address, outlining the history of the conference and acknowledging the generous support of our gold, silver and bronze sponsors.
Professor Russell Viner (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health) delivered the first keynote of the conference on “Advancing the future of paediatric healthcare.” Professor Viner discussed the Paediatrics 2040 project, which aims to predict whether innovations that are currently under development can impact long-term paediatric healthcare delivery. Later in the day, Professor Tony Young (NHS England) delivered the second keynote of the conference, speaking on “Innovation to transform the NHS.” Professor Young’s keynote featured personal experiences from healthcare professionals who are participating in the Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme, which is an initiative that empowers front line clinicians to innovate, connect with other networks, follow their ambitions, and accomplish life-changing projects.
The first day of the conference also included dynamic seminars with live Q&A sessions. Liz Ashall Payne (ORCHA) and Professor Neil Sebire (Great Ormond Street Hospital) delivered an engaging seminar on “Digital child health: app and data technology” and Jim Dawton (Impeller Ventures) delivered a thought-provoking seminar on “Design for child health technology.” Richard Hebdon from Innovate UK delivered our final session of the day, which focused on “Funding industry-led innovation in child health.”
Ivan Phelan (Sheffield Hallam University) also showcased his latest work in virtual reality (VR) for our first technology demonstration of CHT2021. Ivan has been developing VR to support the rehabilitation of children and young people with upper limb injuries.
We also heard from four academic teams, who shared their latest research aiming to develop technology for child and adolescent health. Topics included robot interaction effects on children experiencing stressful situations, custom made NIV masks, a neonatal wireless transition system, and the childhood uveitis passport.
Day one of the conference enabled delegates to discover and explore many exciting developments in the fast-growing field of child health technology. We’re looking forward to even more inspirational and engaging content over the next three days!