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Blazing Summer Heat, Fine French Cuisine, Tim Berners-Lee… The DH 2018 conference takes on Europe’s Tech Capital

By Artur Direito, on 1 June 2018

By Dr. Caroline Wood, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR)

“It was my first time in this conference and it surpassed my expectations. I’ve met researchers from all around the world, with different backgrounds and lot of experience to share in an extremely friendly environment!”

Last month, Lyon’s premier conference venue Cité Centre de Congrès played host to an audience of over 2,000 delegates. The 8thInternational Digital Health Conference (DH 2018), supported by UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR),UCL Global EngagementUCL European Institute and held in collaboration with The Web Conference 2018 and ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD) joined the conversation, bringing together the three core audiences essential for cutting edge innovation transforming the future of health: IT / Big Data, Public Health and Industry / Start-ups.

Now in its ninth year, DH – chaired by UCL IRDR digital health lead Dr Patty Kostkova – has fast become the go-to conference for those looking for research, networking with industry specialists and NGOs. Building on DH 2017, held on home turf in London, this years’ programme spanned the widest topical outreach with talks on public health informatics, global health, social media and big data analytics, pandemics preparedness and emergency medicine.

Kicked off with a fantastic PhD track day led by expert in social media / health informatics, Yelena Mejova, the packed three-day programme welcomed invited speakers including EpiConcept, MesVaccins, Dharma.ai, WHO, EC and featured Keynote Talks from Microsoft, UMC Utrecht, Standby Task Force, Oxford University and Amazon Alexa (she can do so much more than just ‘turn the lights off’!). Highlights also included a panel discussion led by Public Health England on the Sendai Framework for Risk Reduction and a lively debate led by the EC on the ethics of digital health for public health – extremely well-timed for the upcoming GDPR onslaught..

Through a strategic stakeholder collaboration with the digital health start-up community in Lyon supported by Invest in Lyon and Bayer’s post-accelerator programme G4A, delegates also enjoyed a Start-up/SME Clinic hearing from business leaders on key issues faced by innovators working in digital health and pitches to an international judging panel to win the prestigious DH 2018 Innovation Prize celebrating excellence in digital health innovation. For full programme, highlights, prize winners: www.acm-digitalhealth.org 

So where next for DH? Grab your passport as you’re invited and you won’t want to miss out! We’re getting ready to announce plans for 2019 so follow DH on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date. Thank you to all who contributed to making DH 2018 an overwhelming success!


  • There is nothing like a good debate to get a digital health conference audience going. Who would be on your dream debate panel and what would they be debating about?
  • With the list of digital health events to attend seemingly growing by the day, what would you like to see that isn’t currently on offer?


Dr. Caroline Wood

CarolineWoodis aSeniorResearcherin Digital Health andProjectCoordinator for the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR). She also works as an independent Consultant in Behaviour and Behaviour Change. Her research interests focus on the evidence-based development and evaluation of digital and non-digital interventions to change behaviour. She is currently working with Dr Patty Kostkova on the ESRC funded research project GADSA (Gamified Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) decision support app) for prescribing behaviour change in Nigeria. She also leads coordination of the annual interdisciplinary Digital Health Conference www.acm-digitalhealth.org.




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