Diversity is a key topic across the technology industry and an issue that throws up a variety of specific challenges in the digital health sector. To better understand these, raise awareness and explore some potential solutions, Loft and The Health Foundry hosted a special networking session focusing on Designing for Diversity in Digital Health on 21 July 2022 in London.
The centrepiece was a panel discussion which included Shitka Das, a specialist in genetic epidemiology and a Women in STEM ambassador; Ishan Wijewardana, CEO and founder of Strivy Health; Chris French, CEO of Healthy Foundry; and Helen Akoni, digital health lead at Loft. Each speaker talked about their experiences regarding when and how to consider diversity when designing and developing digital health technologies.
The key takeaway underlined by the panel was the importance of including users from different backgrounds as products are developed. Understanding and representation of all potential users across gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic group and ability needs to be part of the process.
As well as product development, recruitment within the industry itself was highlighted. A diverse team is an excellent starting point if you want to develop for diverse audiences, and this relies on removing bias from recruitment.
Enjoying refreshments and pizza, the audience drove the conversation, posing excellent questions for the panel, making a range of important points and sharing further valuable experience on diversity in digital health.
Our next networking event will focus on the FemTech sector, with a panel experienced in developing digital health products for women. It takes place at 6pm on 25 August at The Health Foundry. Reserve your FREE ticket here.