Health and care organisations have historically lagged behind those in other industries in making the most of digital technologies and data solutions. Yet the rapid onset and escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic has essentially forced organisations to embrace these tools to quickly adapt to new ways of working and delivering their services.
This overhaul of industry norms has led to a number of key questions: how widespread has this adoption been? Which tools and technologies have been implemented, and how have these solutions affected staff productivity and service delivery? What will ‘stick’ after the pandemic ends and we return to some semblance of pre-COVID normality?
World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to reflect on what needs to change, but also to celebrate the people who are working to make sure positive change happens. Like Dr Lindsay Dewa, IGHI Research Fellow and mental health expert.
We caught up with Lindsay to find out about her mental health research, her path into academia, and why she’s excited about what the future might hold.
Grappling with a novel virus that reared its ugly head barely six months ago, the world is facing many uncertainties. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is proving unpredictable and the pandemic is fast-moving. But one thing we do know is that older people bear the brunt of the impacts of COVID-19. The elderly are disproportionately affected, with those over 65 accounting for some 80% of hospitalisations due to the disease. And one in five over-80s with COVID-19 will need to go to hospital, compared with one in 100 individuals under 30.
“Please indicate whether your research will include patient and public involvement.” Ticks box.
Rapidly fading are the days when involving patients and the public in research is merely a tokenistic gesture, in favour of meaningful involvement and co-production.
Patient and public involvement (PPI) is research that’s carried out with and by patients, carers and public members, rather than to, for or about them. Co-production takes this one step further; here, researchers work with these individuals throughout the entire project – from start to finish.
Research is our bread and butter at IGHI. It lets us explore problems, ask questions, test ideas, make mistakes and learn from them. And after all that, find the right solutions to the issues we’re trying to address in healthcare.
None of this would be possible without people. But not only the brilliant researchers who are the driving force behind our progress. The patients, carers, public and healthcare professionals who devote their time to get involved and be part of our research play an invaluable role in what we do, too. It is through their knowledge and lived experience that we know we’re asking the right questions and chasing the right solutions.
As the year draws to a close, we look back at some of IGHI’s best moments over the past 12 months. From launching new trials to test out promising health innovations, to partnering for better mental health, our Institute has achieved many things we’re proud of.
Find out how our progress is leading us towards our ambition of transforming health and care for all.
Welcome to the blog pages of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London.
This site provides frequent blog posts from staff and students within the College relating to the various global health topics we are working on within the institute and Imperial. It aims to be an arena for debate and discussion and we welcome your comments and suggestions.
We are always looking for guest bloggers (internal and external to the College). If you would like to write for our blog, contact IGHI’s Communications and Events Assistant Nikita Rathod firstname.lastname@example.org tel 0207 594 8841.