People from across Bristol's healthcare and developer communities came together on 23 April for the inaugural Bristol Health Tech Meetup at Engine Shed. The meetup saw more than 100 people, including developers, data experts, clinicians, patients, academics and others interested in the intersection of health and technology, come together to discuss projects happening in the city. The event was organised by Bristol Health Partners with support from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.
A presentation from Andy Kinnear, Director of Informatics and Business Intelligence at South West Commissioning Support, explored the Connecting Care project, which aims to connect a patient's records across health and social care organisations in the West of England. He explained that the biggest issues to tackle weren't technical, but rather people's assumptions about data sharing rules and keeping all the stakeholders on side. Bristol is now one of the national exemplars for this kind of work, thanks to this project.
Paul Wilson presented on Bristol is Open, a project to make Bristol an open programmable city region. A collaboration between the technology, media and telecommunications industry, universities, local communities, and local and national government, it goes live this spring. Paul explained that Bristol is Open is a platform for developers to use creatively. It needs ideas and developers to engage with it to succeed, but its potential is vast, offering developers more connectivity than they would know what to do with.
David Relph said: "Bristol Health Partners is a platform to drive collaboration at many different levels in this city. We're trying to tackle the big issues, not just in our health economy in Bristol, but nationally and even internationally. Big data is one of these issues. This meetup, the first of many, was an opportunity to get others outside the health system to work on these issues, to bring others' experience and knowledge to bear on projects."