This week we have webinars for you to book and also a fascinating article in Lancet Digital Health Text that I really urge you to read as it strikes at the core of how digital is changing the doctor-patient relationship and so is important for app developers in particular to understand and try to take account of.

Webinars – four DHACA, one RSM


On 12th February, 1pm-2pm, the DTAC Duo of Rhod Joyce and Lauren Harkins will be giving DHACA members a preview of the Criteria, due to be revealed to the world a week or so after then. Hopefully you’ll have read about DHACA’s engagement on this topic with NHSX so like me you’ll be keen to know what the outcome is. Do join us, here.


On 24th February, we have a webinar with what used to be called the Disabled Living Foundation though nowadays “DLF” is their preferred title. I’m giving you the full name though because it helps to understand that this is an organisation with a huge database of all manner of helpful devices and services to support people to remain in their own homes longer and generally to live better with almost any disability. Do join us, here.

Advance notice – Connected Nottinghamshire and Data Protection post Brexit: The top tips for Digital Health Companies

We are pulling together two further webinars. The first is on “Connected Nottinghamshire” on 3rd March which takes forward our previous ICS webinar with an explanation of how the Nottinghamshire ICS is making a reality of the “superapp” that is a combination of the NHS App and the Patients Know Best EHR. The second is a webinar on data protection on 10th March from Brown Rudnick who have so kindly looked after DHACA in the past, and is on a topic that, from my experiences as an evaluator, is something very few SMEs understand well. Links for both will be in our next newsletter, and will also be in our webinar listings (give me a few days!)

RSM AI events

On 17th February, the RSM’s Digital Health Section has the first of two masterclasses on AI in healthcare: From development to deployment, a virtual masterclass – Day 1 The second is a while after our 24th February webinar entitled unsurprisingly AI in healthcare: From development to deployment, a virtual masterclass – Day 2.

How digital is affecting doctors

I want to draw members’ attention this week to a really interesting comment piece in Lancet Digital Health entitled Disrupting the power balance between doctors and patients in the digital era. A very short summary of the points made is:

  • Current medical practice relies on patients perceiving symptoms which typically have to exceed a threshold before seeking medical assistance; by that point the disease may already be chronic;
  • Wearables and smartphones offer the opportunity to collect objective information enabling earlier diagnosis, though the medical world is not yet able to cope well with these;
  • The heart of the matter is that symptoms are typically subjective so “Definitions aside, if patients were able to collect accurate objective measures of health themselves, and could track these measures independently, would these not be patient-generated signs and symptoms that could be adequate grounds for action?”;
  • In other words the move from subjective interpretation to objective observation critically changes the doctor’s role: “This new digital environment accelerates participatory medical models, enabling patients to work alongside clinicians and, occasionally, take the lead in the management of their own health.”;
  • A good example of this quoted is “studies utilising wearable devices are showing promise in early detection of COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals who show changes in heart rate, activity, and sleep.
  • The challenge for doctors of course, so elegantly described by Professor Nicholas Peters some time ago, is that doctors are dependent on their patients dependency on them.

Access is still free, and it’s a short piece so well worth reading. I am also going to ask the authors if they’d be interested in participating in a webinar with us soon, in late March, so if you are an app owner with whom the above raises particularly relevant issues, do please get in touch as I’d like to include (one of) you in the event.

And finally:

I do hope you find this newsletter helpful and hope to see as many of you as possible on the DTAC event next Friday, hopefully supporting the concerns I expressed in my email to the DTAC authors.

Finally, my thanks this week to Prof Mike Short as always for pointing me to items I might otherwise have missed, and to Dr Nicholas Robinson for the same.