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UTC students explore latest trends and innovations in patient experience

Watch our video from the APEX Conference above.

One hundred and eighteen students from four UTCs convened at UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park for the second APEX (Advanced Patient Experience) Student Conference on Digital Health on Wednesday 22nd November.

UTC Derby Pride Park, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, University Collegiate School in Bolton and UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park took part in the day, run as part of the UTC Digital Health Project, sponsored by NHS England.

The conference was designed to broaden the horizons for students of both health and computer science, by helping demonstrate the role that digital technology plays in the health sector. The remit of the UTC Digital Health Project is to improve the digital skills of health students and to ensure that digital students consider the health sector as a possible employer once they leave the UTC.

Google Health speaks on health information

To kick off the conference, Kate Ambrosi, Director of Education and Innovation for the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, welcomed everyone and introduced students and staff to Susan Thomas, Director of Google Health UK, who gave an impassioned keynote speech on the importance of access to good quality health information for all.

Students then broke off into smaller groups to experience five interactive workshop sessions:

  • Susan Thomas, Brett Hatfield and Cian Hughes from Google Health UK explored finding quality health information on the internet.
  • Emily Newton and Tom Maden-Wilkinson from The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) ran two sessions focussing on the use of digital technology in their work and research. One covered ActiveWait, the AWRC online programme for those on a waiting list for an operation, in order to keep them fit enough for the procedure and the other Vetriject, a device for measuring heart health without requiring over exertion of the heart.
  • Tom from Sheffield Hallam University gave a demonstration of how they use simulations to train clinical specialists.
  • University Campus Doncaster physiotherapy team put the students through their paces with the help of their specialist digital sports health equipment.
  • As if they weren’t enough students were also treated to a guided tour around the LivingCare Centre in the Canon Medical Arena just up the road from the UTC by Jayne Pears, Head of Imaging at The LivingCare Group, and her colleague Luke Gorse.

UTC students hear from employers and about digital health project

There was also a ‘working lunch’ where students had the opportunity to talk to industry partners not only from Google Health UK, the AWRC, Sheffield Hallam University, University Campus Doncaster and the LivingCare Centre but also from SYREC, The University of Sheffield Nursing and Midwifery Department, Cavendish Cancer Care Charity, and NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Co-operative.

The day finished with Amy Sutcliffe from the Baker Dearing Educational Trust unveiling a project for students, where they will come up with their own digital solutions to issues that patients experience along their treatment journey. Students have now gone away to work on their entries and we look forward to seeing the results in February when all student presentations are in!