27 Mar 2024

Digital Health Rewired 2024: Key Learnings and Insights

Digital Health Rewired is the premier educational conference and networking event for health IT, and took place at the NEC in Birmingham on 12-13 March 2024. There were over 300 speakers and 50+ exhibitors. It’s estimated that over 3000 people attended across the two days, and we were extremely excited to exhibit alongside The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps.

The five main stages – Digital Transformation, Integrated Care, Leadership and Teams, AI Data and Analytics and Best Practice – ran across both days of the conference and featured a range of speakers from national government, trusts and companies supplying the NHS.

Further one-day stages – Smart Health, Cyber Security, Patient Engagement and Innovation – were also a part of the full conference programme.
Integrella understands that within the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare technology, events like Rewired 2024 serve as vital platforms for industry leaders to converge, share insights, and chart the course for the future and we look forward to attending again next year.

Day 1: Setting the Stage for Digital Leadership

The inaugural day of Rewired 2024 commenced with a clarion call from Devesh Sinha, CCIO at Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Foundation Trust. Sinha emphasised the imperative for trusts to cultivate clinical informatics teams that align with the organisation’s journey—a foundational step in navigating the complex terrain of digital healthcare.

One of the focal points of the opening sessions was the theme of leading digital programmes under intense pressure. Dr. Penny Kechagioglou, Devesh Sinha, and Janet Dodd took the stage to delve into strategies for navigating these challenges, providing invaluable insights for digital leaders in the healthcare domain.

One of the most popular stages of the event, was undoubtedly the AI, Data, and Analytics Stage. The adoption of AI in healthcare is a complex process that requires careful consideration of various factors such as patient safety, privacy concerns, regulatory compliance, ethical implications, and cost-effectiveness. The NHS must adhere to stringent regulations and standards to ensure patient safety and privacy. Integrating AI technologies into healthcare workflows requires compliance with regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and adherence to clinical safety standards.

Another key theme was interoperability. Healthcare systems often consist of multiple disparate systems that may not easily communicate with each other. Integrating AI technologies seamlessly into existing infrastructure requires addressing interoperability challenges to ensure smooth data exchange and workflow integration.

Although speakers consistently underscored the concerns within AI, it was also clear that the NHS will continue to invest in research, pilot projects, and collaborations with industry partners to harness the benefits of AI while addressing the associated challenges.

Day 2: Spotlight on Transformative Initiatives

The second day of Rewired 2024 cast a spotlight on transformative initiatives driving digital innovation in healthcare. Professor Jane Eddleston shared the success story of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s Hive electronic patient record (EPR) in a keynote session. Eddleston’s insights shed light on the critical elements of successful leadership in executing large-scale digital transformation projects within complex healthcare ecosystems.

In a parallel session on the Digital Transformation stage, discussions centred on the evolving landscape of virtual wards—a concept gaining traction for its clinical and cost benefits. Tara Donnelly, founder of Digital Care, highlighted the importance of addressing clinician concerns and ensuring the safety of care pathways in the adoption of virtual ward models.

It was also great to see a familiar face as Dan West, the Chief Digital Information Officer for Health and Care in Northern Ireland, took to the stage providing an insightful update on the progress of the Encompass programme which Integrella has also been a part of. Encompass, a groundbreaking Health and Social Care initiative, is dedicated to establishing a single digital care record for every citizen in Northern Ireland who receives health and social care services. With a core objective of enhancing patient safety and ensuring the highest quality of care possible. West highlighted key advancements achieved through Encompass, including improved information sharing among healthcare providers, streamlined routing of referrals, expedited triage to Community Services, and enhanced flow in case management. These developments underscore the transformative impact of Encompass, illustrating its pivotal role in driving efficiency, collaboration, and ultimately, improved outcomes for patients and service users across Northern Ireland.

Key Takeaways and Future Directions

Rewired 2024 served as a crucible of ideas, fostering dialogue and collaboration among healthcare leaders, innovators, and practitioners. Key takeaways from the event include the imperative of fostering clinical informatics teams, the pivotal role of quality data in AI-driven transformations, and the importance of addressing clinician concerns in the adoption of innovative care models.

Looking ahead, the insights gleaned from Rewired 2024 will continue to shape the trajectory of healthcare innovation, driving the industry towards a future characterised by enhanced efficiency, improved patient outcomes, and transformative digital experiences. As stakeholders continue to navigate the complexities of the healthcare landscape, events like Rewired serve as beacons of inspiration, guiding the way forward in the pursuit of excellence in healthcare delivery.