Professor Jeremy Wyatt, Co-Director of the Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH) recently welcomed Malcolm Harbour MEP and Michael Wood, European Policy Manager, NHS European Office to the International Digital Laboratory, the home of the IDH. As well as representing the West Midlands in the European Parliament, Malcolm chairs the influential Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. He wished to find out more about the Institute and the diverse research being undertaken to improve people’s health and wellbeing through the use of innovative digital technologies. Professor Wyatt outlined IDH’s current and future research to design and deliver appropriate care solutions to bring real benefits to patients and their care support networks, health care professionals, the NHS and other partners, followed by a lively discussion.
Mr Harbour also had the opportunity to hear from NHS West Midlands, one of the three partners in the IDH, and a local SME, GeoPac. Geoff Wedgewood (Programme Director, Digital Healthcare, NHS West Midlands) gave a demonstration of the NHS Local website and described how this has been developed to benefit patients and staff. Colin Bexley, Chief Information Officer for NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Primary Care Trusts, outlined new informatics developments in the Trusts and led a discussion on current projects. Malcolm also discussed MedNet, a novel Framework 7 funded project to bring satellite network telehealth to rural areas of Peru with one of its main partners, Wayne Menary who runs GeoPac, a small company based in Kenilworth.
During his visit, Malcolm also met Dr Michael Goldsmith from the cyber security group, who discussed technologies to support the control of personal data, applying this to the healthcare sector. Finally, Dr Matthew Hocking highlighted the work that the Digital Lab knowledge transfer programme undertakes with SMEs in the region.
Mr Harbour shared his considerable knowledge about current developments in the EU Framework programme and initiatives to break down barriers to a single European market and expressed his interest in returning to the Digital Lab at regular intervals to follow all these developments.