Learning Health Systems – MIE 2016

The first day of Medical Informatics Europe 2016 for me consisted of a tutorial led by Dr Niels Peek and Dr Evan Kontopantelis from the University of Manchester on the topic of Learning Health Systems followed by two very interesting Keynotes from Martin McKee and Andre Kushniruk.

First, Learning Health Systems.  The original concept was developed by the Institute of Medicine in the US in 2007:

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Since then, the concept has been adopted for several large research studies such as the PCORI network in the US and the Transform EU project. In Manchester Neils and Evan are using the concept in their research using CPRD and other large UK health databases through the Health e-Research Centre.

Our research group at Oxford has also been looking into Learning Health Systems, particularly for use in low-resource settings such as Kenya and we recently published a paper in PLOS Medicine about this opportunity.

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The MIE Learning Health Systems tutorial highlighted a number of great resources and concepts which I tweeted as the tutorial progressed. Niels was first presenting on the original concepts and research about learning health systems:




Niels was also kind enough to package up all the tutorial resources including the research papers mentioned and has shared them on Twitter:

Dr Kontopantelis’s presentation gave a great overview of the statistical issues relating to learning health systems:

After the tutorial, we had two great keynotes to kick off the conference proper. The first by Martin McKee was a very entertaining overview of the political economy of health:

Prof McKee’s speech generated lots of questions and discussion about how politics impacts on healthcare from the audience and also on twitter:

The second keynote was a very good overview of current usability methods by Prof Andre Kushnurik:

Andre is a guru of UX research in healthcare and it was great to hear that he has two (two!) new books coming out in early 2017:



I’m looking forward to business meetings with IMIA colleagues today and another interesting keynote this afternoon. Stay tuned…


Medical Informatics Europe 2016

I’m travelling to MIE 2016 tomorrow which is being hosted in Munich this year. I’m looking forward to hearing the latest news and research in Health Informatics from around Europe. I’ll be attending what promises to be a very interesting workshop on Sunday about the Technical and analytical challenges for Learning Health Systems by Niels Peek from Manchester. I’ll update this blog with news and research from the event.

Image by Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26601798

Gen-i Sponsor m-Health NZ Conference

gen-iWe would like to welcome Gen-i as sponsors of the m-health NZ conference. Gen-i is a leading ICT services provider, successfully integrating IT and telecommunications services to provide converged ICT solutions for clients across New Zealand and Australia. M-health is very appreciative of Gen-i’s interest in mobile health in New Zealand and for its support of our conference. We look forward to hearing more on the 6th November.

If you haven’t registered yet, you can register for the conference here.

If you are interested in speaking, you can still submit a paper until 4th September. Submit your abstract here.

If you would like to become a sponsor of m-Health NZ, you can find out more information here.

Upcoming Health Informatics Conferences

I’m attending a few Health Informatics conferences in the next couple of months. I’m planning on blogging the sessions and writing about interesting new developments in health informatics. Here are the conferences I’m going to:

1. Medicine 2.0 in Toronto. September 17-18. I’m going to be presenting about our new social networking site for encouraging collaboration between health innovators. More on this soon, but there’s some pretty exciting developments in the works. Chen Lou will also be presenting about our Facebook Influenza tracking project. This conference was great fun last year so I’m looking forward to attending again this year.

2. HINZ (Health Informatics New Zealand). September 30 – October 2. This is the annual Health Informatics conference for New Zealand. Again, I’ll be talking about our new health innovation networking site, but also representing the National Institute for Health Innovation at our stand and generally catching up with NZ health informatics people.

3. m-Health New Zealand. November 6. I’m organising this conference with Robyn Whittaker from the Clinical Trials Research Unit at Auckland University. We’ve got some great guest speakers and submissions are coming in. If you’d like to present at this conference, make sure you submit your abstract before the 14th of August.

4. AMIA 2009. November 14-18. This is going to be a huge event in San Fransisco and a great health informatics conference. I’m co-organising a tutorial about using social networking technology (including Second Life) in medical education with W Ed Hammond, Constance Johnson and Parvati Dev.

MEFANET Conference Proceedings

MEFANET ReportThe Proceedings for the MEFANET conference have been published in hard-copy and online.

MEFANET is an organisation that has been set up to develop e-learning tools and foster links between european medical schools.

I presented at the conference via video link from the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland and I helped to edit the Proceedings.

m-health NZ: using mobile technology to improve health

Dr Robyn Whittaker, Dr Muzaffar Malik and I are organising a conference about mobile health at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.


The one-day conference will be at the School of Population Health, Tamaki Campus, University of Auckland Friday, 6th November 2009


Improvements in mobile communications technologies are occurring continuously and health services struggle to keep pace with the opportunities and demands of this rapid innovation. However, these technologies can be used to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, quality and accessibility of health services. Many innovative and ground-breaking research projects and services that use mobile devices to improve health are being developed here in New Zealand. This conference will bring together research, health services and mobile communications technology expertise, with a focus on sharing experience and looking ahead to the future of m-health in New Zealand and beyond.

Objectives of this conference:

  • To bring together those working with mobile technologies in health services or health research across New Zealand
  • To stimulate discussion about research priorities and future directions for m-health in New Zealand
  • To stimulate research collaborations across centres and between researchers, health services and industry partners

Who should attend:

Researchers, students, health professionals, health services managers, health IT services, mobile phone-related industries, mobile telecommunications companies, and all those interested in sharing experiences and networking with those working in this field

Sponsored by the Health Research Council of New Zealand

Call for abstracts:

There will be a limited number of spaces for oral presentations at the conference. Presentations will be 15 minutes with 5 minutes for questions. Priority will be given to those with a research focus (including health services evaluations) and in this case abstracts should be structured (Background; Aim; Methods; Results; Conclusions). If time allows other types of presentations may be considered (e.g. opinion pieces, future visions, and work in development) or authors may be asked to prepare a poster or to be on a panel.

Please submit abstracts by 14th August 2009 to: m-healthnzconference2009@ctru.auckland.ac.nz

Abstract guidelines:

  • Title (title case, Arial 14 font)
  • Authors (initials, lastname1; presenting author underlined)
  • Affiliations according to superscript numbers (1 position, dept, employer)
  • Headings (bold, Arial 11 font; ideally Background: Aim: Methods: Results: Conclusions:) 250 words maximum (excluding references, Arial 11 font)
  • References (maximum of 6; Vancouver style as described here http://www.library.auckland.ac.nz/subjects/med/setref-vancouver.htm)

Information for potential sponsors:

We are looking for further sponsors for this conference. Sponsorship could take a variety of different forms, such as sponsoring an international or national speaker, student registrations, post-conference mingling session, or conference packs. Industry stands will also be considered. For further information or to discuss options, please contact Dr Robyn Whittaker r.whittaker@ctru.auckland.ac.nz