The Sowerby eHealth Forum host conference exploring the benefits and challenges in sharing patient data.
The third annual Sowerby eHealth Symposium took place at the Royal College of Physicians on 14th September to a packed audience of clinicians, policy makers, industry leaders and academics.
The Symposium was hosted by our Centre for Health Policy’s Sowerby e-Health Forum, a research and development programme, funded by the Peter Sowerby Foundation, exploring how the use of electronic health records can transform the way the NHS delivers safe and effective patient-centred care. The Forum’s work looks at the potential for primary and secondary care data integration to improve service delivery, healthcare research and population health in this country.
The aim of the Sowerby Symposium was to provide an opportunity to discuss and explore the benefits and challenges in patient data sharing and to take stock of the Forum’s progress since last year.
The big data debate
A wide range of presentations were heard and viewpoints discussed throughout the event, which included an inspiring keynote lecture from the Co-founder of Google DeepMind Health, Mustafa Suleyman, who addressed how effective data sharing can transform care delivery. He launched DeepMind Health with an aim to build clinician-led technology in the NHS and, during his talk, provided examples of how we can use data to improve health systems and bring people together for real world impact.
At present, patients have no control over their data. In order for patient data sharing to work, gaining patient’s trust is very important.
– Mustafa Suleyman
Co-founder, Google DeepMind Health
He said “At present, patients have no control over their data. In order for patient data sharing to work, gaining patient’s trust is very important and generating that trust will be measured by the ability to engage patients in controlling access to their own data. Putting the patient in the driving seat with respect to their own data is going to be transformative for patient care and patient safety”.
He also talked about the development of artificial intelligence that was able to beat a professional human player at the ancient Chinese game ‘Go’ for the first time last year, and how we can use this going forwards.
The event was moderated by writer and entrepreneur Roger Taylor, co Founder of Dr Foster, the healthcare information business that has pioneered transparency in healthcare and was one of the UK’s fastest growing start-ups. He led two panel discussions during the event, one which discussed “How to make data sharing policy work” which included panellist Katie Farrington, Director of Digital and Data at the Department of Health; Brian Fisher, Director of PAERs Ltd; Sharmila Nebhrajani, Director of External Affairs within the Medical Research Council and Chair of the Human Tissue Authority; Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of General Practitioners and Fran Husson, Patient Representative.
The second panel discussion on “From Predictive Modelling to Population Health: Applications of data sharing” heard from Chris Laing, Consultant Nephrologist at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Associate Medical Director for Patient Safety; Paul Elliot, Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine at Imperial College London; Irina Bolychevsky, Open data consultant and Director of Shevski Ltd, Jen Hyatt, Founder of Big White Wall and Martin Severs, Professor of Health Care for Older People and the Higher Education representative Non-Executive Director on the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority.
We heard from a wide range of speakers too, including Vice-Chair of the European Working Group of People with Dementia, Hilary Doxford, who gave a brave and heartfelt account of her own dementia diagnosis and how we can identify ‘real life’ patient benefits to sharing patient data in dementia research. Des Holden, Medical Director at the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust also presented on physiological monitoring in peoples’ homes within a new care model for people living with dementia.
We also heard from the Sowerby e-Health Forum’s Erik Mayer, Dilkushi Poovendran and Rhia Roy update us on some of last year’s research highlights from the forum.
We are at a crucial tipping point in the data sharing debate. It’s now more important than ever for us to overcome the challenge of communicating the profound benefits of data sharing whilst also safeguarding against the pitfalls.
– Professor the Lord Ara Darzi
Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Professor the Lord Ara Darzi said “We are at a crucial tipping point in the data sharing debate. It’s now more important than ever for us to overcome the challenge of communicating the profound benefits of data sharing whilst also safeguarding against the pitfalls for the patients who own that data. I don’t think we’ve got it right just yet and we hope this event was able to achieve its aim of providing a platform on which to discuss and debate this extremely important issue.”
View the photos from the event here
Watch the video recording of the event here
View the speaker presentations here.
Read the Storify of the social media coverage here
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