A ride on the big wheel at the Giant Health Event – Part #2

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

After one day at the Giant Health Event, I knew it was definitely a smart decision to come here. I already got a pretty good impression of what is going on in healthcare and technology. The process of innovating in healthcare felt similar to the design thinking approach: Empathise, define, ideate, prototype, test…and repeat. This time, I decided to attend the presentation series of Health Apps since this is the field I’m coming from – designing websites and apps are part of my world.


Mobile Health also called #mHealth can focus on different functions and purposes. These are some of the most common digital health applications: Education and awareness, diagnostic and treatment support, disease and epidemic outbreak tracking, healthcare supply chain management, remote data collection, remote monitoring, healthcare worker telecommunication and training, telehealth and chronic disease management.


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Think about the value drivers

The kickoff this morning was from Tobias Alpsten who is CEO of iPLATO Healthcare. He guided us through the whole day and explained why seeing a GP on a smartphone sounds wonderful – but it’s not. There are relevant value drivers that must be taken into account:


  1. Ensure safety/security
  2. Improve patient experience
  3. Improve outcomes
  4. Sustainable solution

So, if you are about to create a new mobile solution, don’t forget about the value drivers.

Let’s resolve mistrust and provide apps with accurate content

Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO and Founder of ORCHA, started her talk with some impressive numbers. There are over 325,000 health and fitness related apps on the app store and 4 Million downloads per day. This shows a significant trend within the industry. This means there are big opportunities but there are also concerns and problems. Mistrust from the user is the main obstacle to overcome. Furthermore, we have to make sure that the apps which consult our users are not misleading and present accurate information.


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This is where ORCHA comes into effect. The organisation reviews care and health application to make sure that they aline with best practice. ORCHA has an app library where the users are able to make an informed decision about which app they want to use. I admire this approach because the security of the user comes first!


A space to grow digital health ideas

Sinead Mac Manus, General Manager at Health Foundry, has many startups and 130+ members under one roof, 75% of them are digital health startups. She gave us some useful advice: Telling your story in a way that everyone is able to understand is an essential part of your journey as a health startup. If we use easy words and simple language we come further than if no one can understand us. The best case is to use the language of your target audience, so if your users are for example nurses then use the language they are comfortable with. In addition, technology is not the hardest part. It’s all about people and it’s essential to identify the potential disruption killers. Last but not least, there is lots of support out there. Connecting with the Health Foundry, Digital Health London or the Academic Health Innovation Network are three of many ways to find opportunities.


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How can we measure that your #mHealth product is ok?

Dr. Indra Joshi, National Clinical Lead, NHS England and One Health Tech, doesn’t even need slides to bring her points across. Through digital products, the care is handed over to the patients themselves. There is a fine line between decision support and decision making. So, how can we make sure that your #mHealth product includes valid information and creates real value for the patient? The NHS Apps Library offers a Health Developer Network where you can find digital assessment questions which are there to create a national standard and ensure best practice. The purpose of the app is the main factor to decide how much and which level of evidence is needed to prove that the app creates value and ensures safety.


How learning from different cases can save lives

Dr. Asif Qasim, CEO and Founder of MedShr, talked about the peer to peer learning platform. MedShr is a secure away to discuss cases by specialty with verified medical colleagues. The record of any medical pictures and information which are shared is not stored on the phone of the medical professionals to ensure confidentiality and security. He presented some interesting numbers: 3% of the platform users are influencers, which means they create cases. 39% of the users are advocates – they comment, share and follow cases. And the majority which is 58% of the users are enthusiasts – they listen and learn. I believe these numbers are very impressive, it is great to see how online peer to peer learning can work.


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The journey of developing a user-friendly app

Elin Goodwin, Project Manager at BMJ Best Practice, took us on their app development journey. BMJ Best Practice is an app which is updated daily and provides accurate guidance on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention. She explained that the biggest challenge was the size of the app because it used a lot of storage space from the phone. In addition, the download time was so long that it was hard to be patient enough. Together with Box UK they created a hybrid app to overcome these challenges and present a user-friendly app. One of the great features is that BMJ Best Practice has offline access.


My personal highlights of the afternoon

If I’m honest at this point of the conference I was quite tired so I stopped taking notes. Nonetheless, there are a couple of talks that I remember very well and I don’t want you to miss out on it:


Mary Matthews, Founder of Memrica, presented in an authentic way their smart memory assistant which collects information in the background to support people who cannot remember certain details. This approach of helping people with memory problems to overcome their fear of forgetting and supporting them to keep up their social lives is amazing.


Hannah Chamberlain, Co-Founder of MentalSnapp, showed us how she connected her passion for film with mental health. She also explains that everyone not only needs to actively manage their physical health but also their mental health. In order to do that they created a video diary app where you can record your story and gain confidence.


In this article as well as in the first part, I could only share my thoughts and notes about a couple of great talks at the Giant Health Event. Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes fast enough 😉 to mention everyone that I listened to. Also, my attention span was limited after two intense days. Nonetheless, I enjoyed all the talks, learned a lot and highly recommend everyone who is passionate about healthcare to be part of this. It is an event to share knowledge and meet people who strive for the same goals. I enjoyed the ride, see you next time!

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