A ride on the big wheel at the Giant Health Event – Part #1

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I joined the three day Giant Health Event on day two and three. I had no clue what to expect. I just graduated from Kingston University London in MA Communication Design after working as a User Experience Designer for a few years. The problems that we are facing nowadays are changing as well as the technologies we can use to create solutions. I believe that as a designer it is relevant to be close and help to create a bridge between technology and society. Machine learning, data, AI and blockchains are most certainly words I heard of. I arrived at the Giant Health Event as a newbie in the health sector with fresh eyes and my passion to improve healthcare. After two days of getting inspired, discussing ideas and filling my brain I left the conference still “being a newbie” but a newbie with confidence.

Confidence that…
… there are people out there who care, innovate and improve our healthcare.
… there are patients who include themselves in the conversation and add value.
… I can make a difference, encourage change and create positive impact.

I joined the presentation series and panel discussions about “Artificial Intelligence In Health And Human Support” on the 29th of November 2017. Here are my favourite learnings and the key findings which were relevant to me.

What a kickoff!

Pete Trainor from US Ai Ltd and Emma Lawton from Project Emma guided us with humour and amazing projects through the day. So one of my main learnings which I think is essential for everyone is: If we see technology as a way to “extend” humans rather than “replace” humans, we don’t have to fear it. Emma Lawton, a graphic designer who lives with Parkinson’s and Haiyan Zhang, innovation director at Microsoft Research, proved in an impressive and touching way how empowering technology can be if it is used in a suitable way:



Technology as a way to increase the patient’s safety

Neil Sebire is Professor of Paediatric and Developmental Pathology at ICH/UCL and Consultant Paediatric Pathologist at GOSH. He highlighted that AI can help us to resolve the problem of 15–20% fault diagnosis. This is a massive game changer and increases the safety of the patients. In addition, we are losing knowledge in healthcare through retirements and we will not have enough health professionals in the future. If we are able to use AI for simulations, it can help us to see what happens and test new things.


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Fitness watches and wellness devices cannot be added to medical records,
but probably there will be a way to use this information soon. In addition, for example, a blood worksheet can be much more „intelligent“ instead of a manually filled in paper form. Presenting information more in-depth and in a visual way will help the patients to create a better understanding.

Change the now but prepare for the future

Indra Joshi, Clinical Lead Digital Experience Programmes, mentioned that even with all the fantastic innovation in healthcare we have to think about what is the actual reality of AI right now. It is relevant to balance the excitement of new technology with a little bit of realism and pragmatism in order to decide what is urgent and what is feasible in the foreseeable future – especially with policies that are not in place yet. I believe that a good mix of creating feasible solutions to improve the current situation in healthcare is as essential as the development of big changes for the future.

Let’s close the empathy gap

Tim Caynes and Jane Vance, Designers from Foolproof UX suggest that patients and affected people should get the help they need before they need it. They made everyone aware that we have a gap between humans and technology. So, how can we use technology in a way that there is still empathy for the user who is probably going through a tough life situation? Therefore, understanding the human journey through the system is relevant. The patient journey includes the questions of trust and trusting technology is currently one of the biggest challenges.


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The user journey includes the following:
1. Where is the user on his journey?
2. What did the user do to get there?
3. What can the user do next?


In their example, the content and the visual appearance of the website would change based on the life situation in which the user is currently in.



Technology as a way to move beyond physical disability

It was planned that Pete Trainor and James Dunn tell us about their wonderful and innovative collaboration. James Dunn is a 24-year-old young man with a brilliant brain and an inspirational attitude. He is living with Epidermolysis Bullosa  – a rare genetic skin condition which causes his skin to blister and tear. He just launched a £500,000 campaign to help find a cure for his deadly skin condition and then he is battling cancer again. James couldn’t join us at the Giant Health Event but we received his message and we can all learn a lot from his mindset.




“It is ironic I started an appeal last month to raise money for a cancer drug in the UK and I am now sitting here with cancer. Maybe I have just jinxed myself, but it’s life with EB and it’s something I am going to fight with the help of my loving family and friends. One thing’s for sure – I am not giving up on life any time soon. I am going to get through this like I did last time.” James Dunn, 2017


Pete Trainor told us that photography is an essential part of James’s life. Photography creates an authentic way for him to leave a legacy. James inspires and drives technology to help people move beyond their physical disability.




“While I’m here I’m having fun, making memories and leaving something behind – making memories for other people to look at. I hope you enjoy looking at them and these memories translate into smiles.” James Dunn


A big thank you to everyone who was part of this fantastic and inspiring day!
Stay tuned for my notes from the 3rd conference day about health apps.

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