Amara Nwosu

MBCHB MRCP PhD


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The future of digital health? the King’s Fund Digital Health and Care Congress 2017

Much written about the potential to use digital tools to reform healthcare, concentrate on the short to medium term (i.e. 5- 10 years). However, many of the benefits from digital health will only be fully realised in the longer (i.e. >10 years) term. This is because benefits arising from disruptive technologies may only be achieved following the implementation of cultural, workforce and infrastructural change, which can take time to achieve.

The King’s Fund Digital Health Conference recenty took place across two days in London (11th – 12th July) and provided an opportunity for profesionals from different disciplines to discuss how digital technologies can be used to transform healthcare delivery in the long term. There were several speakers and workstream groups which covered discussion of the opportunities and challenges of these approaches, in addittion to providing many examples of current use of technological and workplace innovation.

Particular highlights for me was Rob Shaw’s (Interim Chief Executive for NHS Digital) talk about the NHS Digital’s perpective on the importance of utilising health data better to provide integrated care. Also, Nicola Perrin (Wellcome Trust) provided an overview of the ‘Understanding Pataient Data’ project, which looks to improve awareness in society (professionals and lay people) about the value of using healthcare data to support patient care. Furthermore, the Wellcome Trust this year will undertake a project which will examine public perceptions of the role of new emerging technology (e.g. artificial intelligence, machine learning) in healthcare.

Many of the talks at the conference had inter-connecting themes; highlighting the importance of forming policy to shape culture through engagement of wider society and professionals. Although there is evidence of innovative work in several areas, a lot of fragmentation is currenty present. Consequently, it is important for collaborations of partners with a shared common vision for digital health.

As an academic palliative medicine physician I am interested in the potential digital health applications to support the management of people with serious illness. If anyone is also interested in undertaking work in this area, please feel free to contact me.

Further information of the King’s Fund Digital Health Conference (and other events by the King’s Fund) can be found here:

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/events/digital-health-and-care-congress-2017

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Internet of Things Technology for elderly home support – NHS Knowledge Exchange Scheme

This year I was delighted to have been chosen to participate in the NHS North West Research and Development Knowledge Exchange scheme. This was the inaugural year for an exchange program which aims to facilitate the sharing of ideas, skills and knowledge between the health, University and business sectors. The hope is that such an exchange will lead to future innovation and collaboration between these areas.
The scheme was a fantastic opportunity for me to build on my interests of how new emerging technology is used to support care for people living with advanced illness. On the 5th of July I had the pleasure of spending a day with the Howz (https://www.howz.com), a company that specialises in the development of Internet of Things Home monitoring devices. Howz is a platform aimed at elderly people, typically living alone, that monitors energy usage, linking to patterns of daily activity which are identified by non-invasive multi-sensors that track heat, light and movement.The data is fed into live updates within the Howz app interface, allowing the user to notify their care network of their daily routine. The app also uses the data to spot anomalies in daily activity and send alerts to a family member, friend or care giver.
Throughout the day I met with different members of the team and discussed the opportunities and challenges surrounding the development of technology to provide health monitoring in the home environment. We shared potential solutions for overcome theses challenges and discussed opportunities for future work and collaboration.
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Further information about the Knowledge Exchange Scheme for Early Career Researcher can be found here:
Further information about Howz can be found here:


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Caring robots: UK robotics week (24th – 30th June)

Next week is UK robotics week (24th – 30th June). Personally, I have interest about how developments in robotic technology will affect the world that we live in. On the Monday 19th June I participated in events at the University of Liverpool. The ‘Robots who care’ seminar was jointly organised by The Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences of Health, Medicine, and Technology (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/humanities-social-sciences-health-medicine-technology/) and the Centre for Autonomous Systems Technology (CAST – https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/autonomous-systems/) and consisted of a variety of speakers, presenting different technological, ethical and practical issues concerning the use of robots in a ‘caring’ capacity. This included deep and meaningful questions, such as whether a robot (or ayny artifical intelligent system) can ‘care’ and, fundamentally, what we mean by ‘care’.
I presented a piece of work (on behalf of my co-authors), a collaborative with Computer science. This was an exploratory piece of work to program a robot to exhibit emotional responses in response to posed questions. The idea was to determine whether such applications could potentially be useful in palliative care education, through use of clinical stimulation scenarios.
An abstract describing the work can be found here:
A poster describing the work is available here:
The evening was concluded with a public lecture from  Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn, University of Hertfordshire (http://homepages.herts.ac.uk/~comqkd/). Her talk was entitled ‘A fatal attraction’ and explored the fascination that humans have with robots. Further information can be found here.
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Poster about the ‘Palliative Medicine’ podcasts presented at the 2017 North West Annual Medical Leadership and Management Conference

I am currently the Digital Editor of the Palliative Medicine journal (the world’s highest ranked journal, peer reviewed scholarly journal dedicated to improving knowledge and clinical practice in the palliative care of patients with far advanced disease: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/pmj ). In this role I lead the development of podcasts to enable dissemination of the journals’ work to a wider audience. Essentially this work follows on from my foray into the podcast world through my AmiPal podcasts (https://soundcloud.com/mypal), which are podcasts about palliative care, technology and innovation.

On the 14th June I was delighted to present a poster about the development of these Palliative Medicine podcasts at the 2017 North West Annual Medical Leadership and Management Conference which took place in the AJ Bell stadium. The poster featured some initial data on the popularity of the podcasts and some download data. Essentially the podcasts are doing very well with many authors getting into the process of recording podcasts which have been well received.

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A link to the ‘SAGE Palliative Medicine & Chronic Care’ podcasts can be found through the Palliative Medicine site here: http://journals.sagepub.com/page/pmj/podcasts

You can subscribe to the podcasts from iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/sage-palliative-medicine-chronic/id1179036261?mt=2

The podcasts are available from most podcast app services by simply searching for ‘Palliative Medicine’. However, if you need the RSS feed to subscribe to can do find that here: http://sagepalliativemedicine.sage-publications.libsynpro.com/rss

If you’re an author of a paper published in Palliative Medicine are interested in recording a podcast, please feel free to contact me.


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Sensor City: Connected cows and better mousetraps

This evening I had the pleasure to attend a networking event at ‘Sensor City’ Liverpool. Sensor City is a Liverpool-based technical innovation centre and University Enterprise Zone; it aims to support the creation, development, production and promotion of cutting edge sensor technologies for use in a wide range of sectors.

http://www.sensorcity.co.uk/

Sensor City

The event was entitled ‘Connected cows and better mousetraps’ and detailed myriad potential  ‘use-cases’ for the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technology in industry.

http://www.sensorcity.co.uk/event/connected-cows-better-mousetraps/

The session was led by Mark Maidman, a representative from Actility (https://www.actility.com/) a company specialising in IoT devices.

As a palliative care doctor interested in technology my immediate thoughts are about the potential uses of IoT to support care of people with advanced disease and complex needs. Events like these are excellent in fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration which will hopefully lead to innovation through sharing expertise and resources.

Further information about sensor cities events can be found here:

http://www.sensorcity.co.uk/events/

Are you interested in the role of emerging technologies in facilitating supportive and palliative care for individuals and populations? If so, please free to comment and get in touch with me.


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Podcasts can help global discussion of palliative care

The following article has been reproduced from the University of Liverpool website:

A new study conducted by the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool (MCPCIL) shows the positive impact and reach podcasts can have on palliative care globally.

MCPCIL was formed in 2004 and is a partnership between the University of Liverpool, the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and the national charity Marie Curie, and is based with the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine.

Podcasts (downloadable online digital audio files) have the potential to facilitate communication about palliative care with researchers, policymakers and the public. Some podcasts about palliative care are available; however, this is not reflected in the academic literature.

Worldwide

The study, led by Dr Amara Nwosu, Academic Clinical Lecturer in Palliative Medicine, involved the development a podcast about palliative care, research and innovation according to internationally agreed quality indicators for medical education podcasts. Additionally, the study includes an analysis of the listenership over a 14 month period to demonstrate the reach and potential impact of the podcast.

The podcasts,were published on SoundCloud and promoted via social media. Overall 20 podcasts were developed which were listened to 3036 times (an average of 217 monthly plays) and listened to in 68 different countries. They were most popular in English-speaking areas, of which the USA, UK and Canada were most common.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal of Supportive & Palliative Care, highlights the potential usefulness for medical organisations to develop podcasts for specific purposes, such as education, lecture capture and research dissemination.

New opportunities

Dr Amara Nwosu, Academic Clinical Lecturer in Palliative Medicine, said: “Technology is increasingly being integrated into medicine to support new opportunities for the delivery of clinical practice, education and research. A palliative care podcast is a method to facilitate palliative care discussion with global audience. Podcasts offer the potential to develop educational content and promote research dissemination.

“Future work should focus on content development, quality metrics and impact analysis, as this form of digital communication is likely to increase and engage wider society.”

The full study, entitled ‘The use of podcast technology to facilitate education, communication and dissemination in palliative care: the development of the AmiPal podcast’, can be foundhere.

A podcast summary of the paper can also be found here.


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AmiPal podcast – Use of podcasts to facilitate education, communication and dissemination in palliative care – episode 22

This episode of AmiPal is about the development of this podcast. I’ll discuss my paper which was recently published in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care:

Use of podcast technology to facilitate education, communication and dissemination in palliative care: the development of the AmiPal podcast.
spcare.bmj.com/content/early/201…bab6-eab94e775c39

Edison Research. The podcast consumer 2015. Website of Edison Research 2015.www.edisonresearch.com/the-podcast-consumer-2015/.

Davidson L. How Serial shook up the podcasting industry. Website of the Telegraph 2015.www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbys…g-industry.html.

Sinclair C. Palliative Care Podcasts. Website of Pallimed 2015.
www.pallimed.org/2015/05/palliati…re-podcasts.html.

Lin M, Thoma B, Trueger NS et al. Quality indicators for blogs and podcasts used in medical education: modified Delphi consensus recommendations by an international cohort of health professions educators. Postgraduate Medical Journal 2015;91(1080):546-50.
pmj.bmj.com/content/91/1080/546.long

Adam Lella. Number of Mobile-Only Internet Users Now Exceeds Desktop-Only in the U.S. (April 2015)
www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Nu…-Only-in-the-U.S

Tommy Helgevold. Build a radio in less than 1 minute
www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zzmi_Kno4w

AmiPal – SoundCloud: @mypal
AmiPal – Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/mypal-te…-palliative-care
AmiPal – TuneIn: tunein.com/radio/AmiPal-Palliative-Care-p837382/
AmiPal – Acast: www.acast.com/amipal

Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds
www.audacityteam.org/

Copyright Dr Amara Nwosu, AmiPal Media 2016.
www.amaranwosu.com
twitter.com/amaranwosu

Music by Bensound
www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music