Moving the Diagnostics North East conference online in 2021
Recently Diagnostics North East hosted a virtual conference to showcase the unique expertise available within the network for diagnostic developers.
Over 180 individuals attended the Diagnostics North East conference on 13 October 2021. The conference was delivered using a bespoke online platform which enabled attendees to network and form new collaborations. The focus of this year’s conference was Precision Diagnostics for Precision Medicine. Conference themes which were discussed by our stratified medicine theme lead, Professor Nick Reynolds, in his closing remarks included:
- Diagnostic development during the COVID-19 pandemic – during our panel discussion, experts within Diagnostics North East (DxNE) reflected on the lessons learned from the pandemic and why it is important for diagnostic developers to engage with us as early as possible.
- The role of Artificial Intelligence in diagnostic testing – Professor Michael Barnes (Queen Mary University of London) discussed innovative machine learning tools which could help to diagnose different inflammatory diseases. Professor Alastair Burt (NovoPath) reviewed the use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence in pathology and explained how they may revolutionise diagnostics in the future.
- The importance of collaboration – Professor Sir John Burn (Newcastle Hospitals) described his experience of converting genetic research into diagnostic practice and the complex processes involved. Dr Michael Wright (Newcastle Hospitals) discussed the impact of genetic and genomic diagnostics over the last 30 years. He also discussed how DxNE can facilitate the introduction of new genomic diagnostics to the NHS.
Interactive workshops also highlighted the expertise available within DxNE. We hosted a workshop with the Integrated COVID Hub North East Innovation Lab where we emphasised the importance of generating robust evidence when demonstrating the value of new diagnostic tests. We also explained the support we can provide to diagnostic developers in this area. Additional workshops were delivered by the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria and Northern Cancer Alliance; MedConnect North; Centre for Process Innovation and Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering and the Newcastle Joint Research Office.
Looking to the future, Dr Seamus O’Neill (Northern Health Science Alliance) also described the main political and policy drivers that are relevant to the field of diagnostics in the UK.
The conference website will remain open until the end of November. If you would like to revisit presentations from the conference, you can access the majority of them here.