20 May 2024

Patient and Public Engagement – Our value in diagnostic development and innovation

Rosemary Nicholls

Public and patient involvement and engagement forms an vital component of our ability to deliver high quality research and innovation.  At our recent Diagnostics North East conference on 19th April, RoseMary Nichols joined the break out session “Public and Patient involvement in diagnostic development and innovation – what difference can it make?”.  Read her event review below, and watch the break out session online here.


An event review – By Rosemary Nicholls 


As a member of the NIHR HealthTech Research Centre (HRC) in Diagnostic and Technology Evaluation Insight Panel, I was very pleased to be asked to give a presentation on the role of the public contributor at the DxNE Conference in April 2024.

Fellow volunteer, John Bedlington, Chair of LIVErNORTH, spoke on the value of patient involvement in research planning and development. The scene was set for us by Kasia Kurowska and Dr Rachel Dickinson.

Other breakout topics ranged from the very technical to the very practical. At ‘Where might my test work? – Use Cases and Care Pathways’, I was able to ask a question about the possible impact of the development of AI on previous work patterns.

Sir James Mackey, Chief Executive of Newcastle Hospitals since 1 January 2024, explained patient needs that the NHS has to respond to and the resources that it has and it is likely to have to do so. Dr Edoardo Gaude, Chief Scientific Officer at Upfront Diagnostics, spoke about achieving successful outcomes through SME-academia collaboration.

Professor John Simpson, co-director of the NIHR HRC in Diagnostic and Technology Evaluation gave an account of the journey the organisation has taken from DEC to MIC to the HRC. He also explained how the HRC provide independent methodologist expertise to generate a portfolio of evidence to support the adoption of diagnostics.

There were many exhibitors in the foyer, who seemed genuinely interested when I introduced myself as a member of the public who undertakes reviews; leaflets were collected and contact details were exchanged. There was definitely an atmosphere of entrepreneurship and enlightenment.