UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Professor Marianna Obrist attends parliamentary roundtable on health technology

5 April 2022

On 16 March, IHE Deputy Director (Digital) Professor Marianna Obrist contributed to PICTFOR’s Health Tech Roundtable at the House of Commons.

Houses of Parliament

PICTFOR (the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum) is the largest and most active All-Party Parliamentary Group, bringing together Parliamentarians from all parties and Houses alongside key stakeholders in the relevant sectors.  

This recent roundtable event centred on the question, “how can health tech support the Government’s public health agenda and maintain well-being?”. 

The key points being considered were: 

  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how do we ensure the UK embraces cutting edge digital technology and remote services which best serves the NHS and patients? 

  • How can HealthTech support the Government’s sexual health strategy and contribute towards the Government’s target to eliminate HIV transmission in England by 2030? 

  • What are the barriers to the uptake of HealthTech by the NHS and Local Government? 

  • What more can the Government do to drive the use of HealthTech and the digitalisation of services, where appropriate? 

The event was chaired by Baroness Neville-Rolfe. The Shadow Minister for Public Health, Andrew Gwynne MP attended as well as representatives from McKessonUK, OpenUK, Llloyds Pharmacy, Voror Health Technologies and Terrence Higgins Trust. 

Much of the discussion emphasised the importance of taking a patient-centred approach to the development of health technologies. New technologies should respond to patients’ genuine needs, rather than advancing technology for its own sake.  

Professor Marianna Obrist in front of the House of Commons

Professor Obrist said, “It is clear from the discussion that patient experience needs to be at the heart of health technology innovation and development, and there is still a great need for overcoming challenges such as barriers when it comes to accessing digital health solutions, and the health inequalities that can arise as a result. Enabling people to be in charge and have agency over their health is essential for deploying innovative digital solutions not only in hospitals but for people’s self-care at home”