Day two kicked off with a Merck lunchtime seminar on “Participatory healthcare and multi-professional collaboration to guide technology outcomes for growth disorders”, which was delivered by Professor Shabbir Syed-Abdul (Tapei Medical University), Professor Paul Dimitri (NIHR CYP MedTech), and Dr Quentin Le Masne (Merck). This seminar included a really interesting Q&A session, covering topics such as the adoption of e-Health solutions into the NHS.
For the first keynote of the day, we heard from Simon Stones (Patient Advocate and Consultant) and Benjamin James (Duchenne Patient Advocate). Simon and Benjamin shared their personal experiences of using health technology as young people and discussed how certain technological advances could make a dramatic difference to healthcare delivery, such as improving patient access to health records. The second keynote of the day was delivered by Dr Louise Wood CBE (Department of Health and Social Care), who outlined the ways the NIHR is supporting user-centred technology research and development through its infrastructure, clinical research networks, and funding programmes.
The final keynote of the day comprised of three small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (Xploro, Apartito, and GiveVision) sharing their personal journeys innovating in the NHS. Dom Raban (Xploro) described an evidence based digital therapeutics platform with several benefits, such as reducing anxiety. Dr Elin Haf Davies (Aparito) presented on the Atom5, a technology platform that can provide remote clinical assessments at scale. Finally, Elodie Draperi (GiveVision) described the development of SightPlus, a head-mounted augmented reality low vision aid for children and young people with visual impairment.
A highlight of the day was the technology demonstration by Sheffield Robotics. Dr Michael Szollosy and Professor Tony Prescott showcased two of the robots, MiRo and Pepper, they are developing that have clear applications for child health. MiRo is a pet like robot and Pepper is the world’s first social humanoid robot which is able to recognise faces and basic human emotions.
This technology demonstration was later followed by a fascinating seminar on the development of robotics for child healthcare by Professor Tony Prescott, Dr Dana Damian, and Professor Luc de Witte from the University of Sheffield. The seminar highlighted how robots have wide applicability for child healthcare, including tissue repair and regeneration, support of children with disabilities, and robot-assisted therapy to reduce anxiety in children. For the final seminar of the day, Leanne Summers (NHSX) delivered a thought-provoking session on “Digital child health: Transforming child health.”
Delegates also heard about four more innovative research projects, including machine learning for predicting length of stay in ICU, using virtual reality to support children receiving chemotherapy, as well as developing technology to support youth mental health and young people with cystic fibrosis.
We are excited to hear further inspirational talks and demonstrations in the conference over the next two days!