What opportunities and challenges do digital data tools and technologies present for health and wellbeing? An panel of exciting speakers discussed this topic as part of the Brighton Digital Festival.
Four exciting speakers discused and demonstrated the cutting-edge opportunities and challenges that digital data tools and technologies present for health and wellbeing. What is the role of art and creativity in public engagement with health data? How is the digitization of health records changing public attitudes and medical practices? And how can virtual/augmented reality help us experience our bodies in a different way?
- ‘Immersive art as therapy’
Sarah Ticho, specialist in arts, health and immersive technology. Sarah has extensive experience working across the interdisciplinary arts, academia, healthcare and virtual reality as a producer, curator, artist and researcher. She is the founder of Hatsumi (https://www.hatsumivr.com/), producer at Deep VR (http://www.exploredeep.com/) and Healthcare Lead at Immerse UK.
- ‘My healthcare data: What does it look like and what can it be used for?’
Dr. Liz Ford, Senior Lecturer in Primary Care Research, Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Liz’s research focuses on mental health and dementia in primary care and community settings, with a particular focus on novel methods for using electronic health data such as patient records.
- ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure’
Jo-Anne Welsh, CEO, Oasis Project. Jo-Anne qualified as a general nurse many years ago. Her career has included working in both acute and community settings and in the voluntary and statutory sector. Throughout her career she has been interested in health inequalities and has worked in both HIV services and for the last 12 years in Substance Misuse provision. Jo-Anne was awarded a Wellcome Fellowship for a project exploring attachment and how it relates to clients’ experiences in 2016.
- ‘Enhancing public engagement with health data through art practice’
Dr. Aristea Fotopoulou, Principal Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Media and Communications in the School of Media, University of Brighton. Aristea is a UKRI Innovation Fellow/AHRC Leadership Fellow whose research focuses on social transformations that relate to digital media and data-driven technologies (e.g. self-tracking, wearables, big data, AI).
Moderator: Rifa Thorpe-Tracey (@rifa), an events organiser, coach, producer and advocate for inclusivity in tech. Rifa launched SheSays Brighton, curates Spring Forward Festival, runs Refigure Ltd, co-hosts a weekly arts podcast and is also a yoga and meditation teacher.
This event was hosted by ART/DATA/HEALTH (artdatahealth.org), an academic research project that offers members of the community new skills in data science and art practice to improve health and wellbeing. The aim of the project was to develop a participatory interface that involves creativity and use of data for the social good, in order to tackle health inequalities and digital inclusion.
‘ART/ DATA/HEALTH: data as creative material for health and wellbeing’ (AH/S004564/1 2019-2021) is funded by the UKRI-AHRC Innovation Leadership Fellowship, led by Principal Investigator Dr Aristea Fotopoulou, and hosted by the University of Brighton.
The event image (© CC/BY Wellcome Images) is from François-Joseph Lapointe’s ‘1000 Handshakes’ project, a performance piece during which the artist shakes hands with as many people as possible, gradually changing the invisible microbial community in the palm of his hand(https://wellcomecollection.org/works/q28cguue).