Global Health Histories

Conversations and creeds: digital communication and health

Professor Mark Blythe shows how in recent years there has been much research and development into technologies designed to support ageing populations. Many of the devices are quite functional and focus on basic needs and there is a concern that health and well-being are too narrowly defined. Professor Blythe’s talk focuses on design approaches which support wellbeing for older people living in communal settings. It also describes the development and design of two research prototypes: the “Photostroller” and the “Prayer Companion”.

Dr Najeeb Al-Shorbaji discusses how digital communication has contributed to making health information more available and accessible to a wider range of people. Digital communication has improved accountability and transparency, enabled more equitable access to scientific and technical information, and has empowered patients and enabled person-centred healthcare. But there are also issues of sustainability, confidentiality, privacy, cost, infrastructure and legal constraints.