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conferences and talks

Health apps and how to evaluate them: Review of the PHE 2016 conference, part two

20 Sep, 16 | by BMJ

suchita_shahEmbedded in the NHS Five Year Forward View is a sleek, bulled pointed ministerial promise: “an expanding set of NHS accredited health apps that patients will be able to use to organise and manage their own health and care.” Whatever your views might be on ministerial promises, it’s definitely true that digital technology is making its way into mainstream public health. In my previous blog, a roundup of several sessions at the Public Health England (PHE) annual conference, I wrote about how digital technology is partnering with behavioural science to influence the health choices we make. Here, I’ll share what I learned about health apps. more…

Using behavioural science and digital technology to “nudge”: Review of the PHE 2016 conference, part one

19 Sep, 16 | by BMJ

suchita_shahBeing a GP at a public health conference is, I imagine, like being a proctologist at a plumbers’ convention: familiar subject matter, different perspective. I spend a lot of my clinical time advising people about smoking, alcohol, healthy eating, weight loss, mental health, contraception—all sorts of things that have at their core the vagaries of human behaviour—but I’m not sure I do it very well. A tidal wave of long term conditions is flooding the NHS, and I’m always interested to know what new tricks the population health approach has to address these. more…

Tessa Richards: WHO and the politics of health

16 Sep, 16 | by BMJ

Tessa_richardsGaining cross country consensus on joint European strategies to tackle politically and culturally sensitive public health issues is not easy. So it was not surprising perhaps that a decision to adopt an action plan on sexual and reproductive health at the World Health Organization’s 66th Regional Committee meeting in Copenhagen went to the wire.

It started calmly enough, with a detailed account of the wide and protracted prior consultation with the 53 member states, and most delegations expressed high praise for the plan. Suddenly, Turkey and Russia threw last minute googlys more…

Amy Price: The evidence informed patient

14 Sep, 16 | by BMJ

amy_price2The journey
My work in international relief as a psychologist and cognitive rehabilitative consultant did not prepare me to be a trauma patient with brain damage. The injuries showed me we patients need to be full partners in our own healthcare and that we need a bridge. That bridge is evidence and the vehicle through which it travels is relationship and shared knowledge. To build this bridge I reinvented my destiny and trained in evidence based healthcare at the University of Oxford, where I am presently pursuing a doctorate. more…

Dan Smyth: Patient involvement in the European Respiratory Society Congress 2015-16

14 Sep, 16 | by BMJ

dan-smythThe European Lung Foundation (ELF) brings together patients and the public with respiratory professionals to positively influence lung health. ELF works with a network of patient organisations and individuals (via the European Patient Ambassador Programme) who take part in the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress.

The aim of having patient organisations at the congress is to:

• present the patient perspective in scientific and educational sessions
• promote the role of patient organisations
• strengthen the respiratory patient organisation community
• widen the participation of patients and patient organisations in healthcare more…

Neil Betteridge: Effective involvement of patients at medical meetings—a case study from EULAR

14 Sep, 16 | by BMJ

neil-betteridgeAs someone who has long championed “user” or “patient” involvement in health focused organisations—whether as CEO at Arthritis Care or as vice president of EULAR (the European League Against Rheumatism) representing the patient group network in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases—I believe that the key to success is having clarity of purpose. If you are sure of “why” you want to enable patient participation at medical meetings, you are far more likely to get the “how” right.

For example, the annual EULAR congress is a major global health event more…

Kate Adlington: Is there such a thing as the “right diagnosis”? Review from the Diagnostic Error in Medicine conference 2016

26 Jul, 16 | by BMJ

kate_adlington_picAs doctors, we probably already consider ourselves honorary members of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). It’s essentially part of our job description. But there is an option to become a fully paid up member. Founded in 2011 by US doctor Mark Graber, the SIDM is an international organisation that is dedicated to honouring all those who have been harmed by diagnostic error—aiming to create a “world where diagnosis is accurate, timely, and efficient.”

The society has hosted several international conferences on diagnostic error. June 2016 saw the first such conference to be hosted in Europe, with international healthcare colleagues travelling to the impressive Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. more…

Deborah Kirkham: Mind the technology gap—how can the NHS bridge it?

20 Jul, 16 | by BMJ

deborah_kirkhamI find the exhibition halls at conferences fascinating. They provide an interface between private and public sector which many clinicians are not exposed to in their day to day work. There’s the private companies with their baristas and artisan coffee beans; a stand that’s bigger than the square footage of an average UK home, and so many lights, screens, and colours, that one can only stand and gaze in wonder. At others, more modest organisations, or perhaps more modest public sector budgets, stretch to a branded tablecloth, a pop-up banner, and a free pen. more…

Sarah Walpole: Collaborating across continents—what is the best that technology can offer?

4 Jul, 16 | by BMJ

sarah_walpole_2016The world may be getting smaller, but it’s not getting simpler. In the lead up to the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) annual conference 2016, we are working to prepare sessions fit for an international audience and our globalised world.

A symposium I was part of last year at AMEE on “Social accountability: medical students as leaders for sustainable healthcare” addressed a new and challenging topic from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Yet there was one major aspect of that symposium that we wish we’d done better: creating an environment for active participation, group work, and networking. more…

Evidence Live 2016: Whither evidence in the social media world?

9 Jun, 16 | by BMJ


In the run up to Evidence Live 2016, we are running a series of blogs by the conference speakers discussing what they will be talking about at the conference.

The tired old trope of “my evidence” vs “your evidence” is endlessly rehearsed on the social media discussions and comments sections. Powerful groups—both corporate and voluntary—deploy effective media strategies to undermine scientific claims that run counter to their interests. And now personalisation of social media means that we exist in a “filter bubble” in which we never see things we don’t already like. “Intellectual pudding,” when what we need is “vegetables” (Pariser 2011). In an era of clickbait, trolling, and sockpuppets, what chance does good quality evidence stand? more…

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