The state of digital child health today - an interview with Professor Sam Shah

In this RCPCH Podcasts episode, Richard Burley, Executive Director of Digital talks with Professor Shah about how digital technology can support child health, and how paediatricians can embrace it - with a dose of healthy scepticism.
Profile picture of Professor Sam Shah - RCPCH Podcasts

Listen to this episode below or wherever you get your podcasts, or find on our podcast website. You can download the full transcript at the bottom of this page.

Professor Sam Shah is Chief Medical Strategy Officer at men's health company, Numan, and Honorary Lecturer at University College London's Global Business School for Health. He spoke at RCPCH Conference 2023 with a session titled, 'Could healthcare technology address the challenges in child health? Richard Burley here at the College was fortunate to be in the audience and invited Sam to discuss further.

As Sam notes on the podcast, there is no shortage of technology from mobile apps to wearables. But, he says there's a challenge, especially as we look to reduce anxieties: we try and make the environment of child health - really, the treatment end - more accessible to children, young people and their families. And also less imposing, less scary. Especially that moment when families will be scared about accessing treatment, when children will be in unfamiliar environments.

Sam and Richard talk about examples where digital technologies, particularly augmented and virtual reality, are making a real difference. They consider the unique experiences of children and young people as patients, and the differing needs of communities around language, culture and digital maturity. They step into the thorny issues on privacy, security and safety - and how digital tech intersects with real-life clinical care.

Sam finishes with practical advice on how paediatricians can identify, evaluate and use digital technology in their practice.