Published: 09 November 2022

Intelligent consumers of digital health  

From apps to artificial intelligence (AI), big data to microsensors, wearable tech to virtual consultations, digital health means a multitude of different things to different people. Professor Jo Armes, Lead for Digital Health, shares how technology is helping healthcare evolve.   

What is digital health? 

At Surrey, we’re involved in a vast range of research programmes that fit under the digital health umbrella.  

This rapid change in healthcare delivery, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic – can lead to some confusion about what digital health really is. For us, it’s about applying all kinds of digital technology for two fundamental purposes:  

  • To improve the diagnosis and management of conditions 
  • To facilitate the delivery of high-quality healthcare.  

Put another way, digital health is not about replacing health professionals but rather using technology to support their work. The nature of that support changes from speciality to speciality and from patient to patient.  

But whenever, wherever and however the doctors of tomorrow use technology, there are some aspects that are common to all. There’s a need to understand what the technology can do and to communicate that purpose to patients and their families. There are ethical and social factors that guide the deployment and use of technology, from privacy and data protection to concerns about consent and equity of access. 

Learn from the experts 

At Surrey, you’ll explore these issues and concerns as you learn how to use different technologies in your diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients. On our Graduate Entry Medicine BMBS, you’ll benefit from the expertise of our researchers, clinicians and healthcare professionals, who are involved in digital projects as diverse as teledermatology – using AI to analyse images of patients’ skin lesions  – to the development of sensors to monitor lithium levels in patients with depression or bipolar disorder.  

Our aim is to ensure that you become intelligent consumers of digital health – able not only to use technologies to improve patient care but to guide others in doing so too.