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OHT Birmingham Launches!

Hello Bir-ming-ham!

We are the West Midlands chapter of the best HeathTech crew there is and we had our launch event on 2 May at the very swish new Mills and Reeve offices in Birmingham.

Our focus was on how to actually deliver some of the awesome innovations we read so much about, and hearing what advice would our speakers give to anyone looking to start the journey.

We covered mental health, learnings from the West Midlands Test Bed project and what advice legal eagles would give people from both sides of the contracting fence before signing on the dotted line.

The wonderful Fiona from Mayden kicked us off with her inspiring talk on how Mayden are helping to improve access to talking therapies for depression and anxiety by providing online referrals, developing an IAPT record and delivering treatment to people who would otherwise be waiting a huge amount of time to receive help. Loads of studies have shown that early intervention increases the chance of a better outcome.

Next up was Ellen Hughes from West Midlands Academic Health Science Network with her learning from her previous role as part of a test bed project looking at how to use pseudo-anonymised and aggregated mobile phone data to predict a MH crisis.

Ellen gave us some test-bed realness in her lessons on data quality ‘we thought we had awesome data and that our partners would be clamouring to get access but it turned out the data in the EHR was actually pretty crap’. We have all been there.

The brutal reality of trying to innovate whilst keeping the lights on in the NHS was laid bare and the importance of communication to both patients and to staff to ensure that people were able to understand what was being done with their data and why.

Ellen then talked to us about the innovative work she is doing in her current job at WMASHN and all the incredible stuff her team is doing in the space. She’s just got back from Helsinki talking about it. She fancy.

Last but absolutely no means least was David Hall from our very kind sponsors Mills and Reeve talking about managing contractual risk for people buying and selling technology. Key tips from David included looking at your privacy notices to ensure GDPR compliance (hot tip – they need to be absolutely mammoth to be compliant, the ICO one is 70 pages!) and to negotiate your support costs very well, even though it’s not the bit you’re really interested in.

After an interesting Q&A session with the panel we had some absolutely amazing snacks including FRESHLY BAKED BREAD. Honestly it was incredible.

The Birmingham gang are busy planning the next set of events which cover sustainability in healthcare technology and also we are cooking up some amazing things with the gaming industry in Leamington Spa looking to combine the skills of some of the UK’s top games designers with some pretty knotty healthcare problems.



Good – get in touch at or @OHT_Birmingham on Twitter.


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