We experienced a packed programme of fascinating talks from a huge variety of speakers at the 2018 Chief Scientific Officer’s Annual Conference which took place on 5th and 6th March. Central to the two-day event was this year’s theme: ‘Partners in the Future’ which highlighted how essential it will be for the NHS to establish, and build-on, partnerships with academia, industry and patients in the coming years.
Professor Sue Hill led the conference and also shared her thoughts on the importance of science to healthcare and her experience of just how much healthcare science has evolved throughout her career. Sue also shared some observations from her personal journey as a patient and how this has enabled her to appreciate the ways in which healthcare scientists do, or do not, interact with other clinical professionals as well as priorities for improving patients’ experience during their treatment.
Data was a key talking point throughout the conference as speakers touched on how it is already revolutionising healthcare science and will continue to do so in the coming decades. The huge amounts of data being gathered through initiatives like the 100,000 Genomes Project is driving a new focus on personalised care and a deeper understanding of the relationship between the building blocks of life and disease. We heard about the enormous potential for the NHS to make use of big data and the latest technological advancements, such as machine learning, to make patient care more effective and efficient, but also about the ethical concerns and implications of these developments.
The conference also featured perspectives from within and outside the NHS on how the research and innovation process can be opened up to more partners, particularly in the academic world, leading to greatly improved impacts on healthcare. We heard from leading figures in medicine and healthcare science about how healthcare scientists can contribute to transformational change in the healthcare system and how knowledge transfer partnerships are speeding up innovations in the profession.
It would be remiss not to also mention the contribution of Berne, our own Head of School, who spoke about our programmes and just how far healthcare science education has come since the advent of Professor Sue Hill’s Modernising Scientific Careers agenda a decade ago. Berne also updated attendees on the latest developments in the School’s work on apprenticeships and the doctorate-level HSST programme.
For the first time, the School provided extensive coverage of both days of the CSO Conference via Twitter. We have curated tweets from throughout the conference into a Twitter Moment which you can view below: