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This Digital Health Forum aims to explore both the promise and practical aspects of the use of telehealth technology in clinical care. This is an in-person only event: please sign up via the MS form provided below.

During this two-hour Digital Health Forum, we'll be welcoming four senior academics to present followed by a whole panel discussion.  Please sign up to the event via the below form so that we are aware of numbers:

Talk details:

1. Professor Derek O'Keeffe, Digital Health 2030

This exciting and informative lecture will discuss the fusion of clinical care and digital technology. Topics covered include Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Drones, Remote Monitoring and Medical Avatars. The lecture will highlight the state of the art in this domain (e.g. virtual wards) and what technology can be expected to be used in healthcare at the end of this decade (e.g. personalized digital doctors).

2. Dr Spyridoula Maraka, Effective Use of Telehealth in Endocrinology

The surge in telehealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly boosted its utilization for outpatient endocrine care. Telehealth provides enhanced accessibility and flexibility in endocrine care  for patients not necessitating a physical examination or procedure. During this presentation, we will 1) explore the advantages and constraints of telehealth use and 2) assess the suitability and efficacy of telehealth for distinct endocrine cases.

3. Professor Tiffany Veinot, Human intermediaries as core infrastructure for addressing telehealth access inequities

The growing proliferation of video telehealth visits in the United States (US) after COVID-19 may widen health care access disparities. Telehealth video visits may be more challenging for underserved populations due to the type of devices used (e.g., a need for Apple devices or newer smartphones), local internet reliability, design complexity, language issues, and required digital skills. Support for underserved patients—such as through the use of human intermediaries—is one approach to addressing such challenges. Human intermediaries are people who act in a “middle space” between people and technologies, and they can be informal (e.g., family, neighbors) or formal connections (e.g., healthcare staff). This presentation highlights results from research investigating how three “models” of intermediation may facilitate technology access: (1) student-led onboarding and troubleshooting; (2) technical support implemented by staff at a safety healthcare center; and (3) community intermediaries like neighbors. Analyses show that intermediaries can help underserved patients successfully use telehealth and other technologies by: (1) reducing the cognitive load associated with using complex and unfamiliar technologies; (2) providing emotional support to build confidence and reduce technology-associated stress; (3) translating and selecting interfaces to overcome language barriers; and (4) pacing instructions and hands-on exposure to avoid overwhelm. The presentation concludes with a discussion of the implications of treating intermediaries as core infrastructure for addressing telehealth access inequities.

4. Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Building working knowledge in the digital space:  an ethnographic study of multidisciplinary teams in long covid clinics

The nature of medical and healthcare work is changing. Discrete, bounded encounters such as the traditional clinical consultation, have been replaced by remote and digital interactions )both synchronous and asynchronous). One novel form is the online multidisciplinary (MDT) meeting in which professionals from a range of backgrounds discuss a patient over Microsoft Teams or Zoom, each drawing on a different set of medical notes and other digital resources. This talk will use examples from an ethnographic study of MDT meetings in long covid clinics. It will show, how these MDTs built a ‘working knowledge’ based on shared practices, mutual trust, distributed cognition (e.g. emails, record entries), relational knowledge of what was at stake for the patient, and harnessing uncertainty to open new discursive spaces.