UK Digital Health and Care (UKDHC), a new UK membership body, has been launched to provide a home for professionals in the sector.
The launch of the new body comes with the imminent demise of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics (FCI), which is in the process of being wound-up after a financial crisis and internal disagreements.
FCI members are set to vote this Friday on a proposal to transfer memberships to the British Computer Society.
The UKDHC website says the new body will focus on providing training and education support for health and social care informaticians in order to improve the delivery of health and social care services using modern technology.
The team behind the association includes former leading figures from FCI: Professor Angus Wallace, Dr James Reed, Dr Jacob Taljard, Mr Taimur Shoaib, Dr DJ Hamblin and Nehal Hassan.
The website says UKDHC will be “dedicated to fostering a collaborative environment for health and social care informaticians, organising educational events, promoting research and innovation, advocating for ethical practices in clinical informatics, and collaborating with stakeholders to enhance healthcare quality and efficiency through digital solutions”.
The body will also work to encourage improvements in health technology platforms and apps.
Asked who the target members are, Prof Angus Wallace told Digital Health News: “We believe that there are some FCI members who will choose to move to BCS but we believe our offering may be more attractive to many in the medical and social care community and we will ensure we are very responsive to our members through our advisers for the various special interest groups that we are developing.”
Prof Wallace said UKDHC will initially be a membership organisation operating as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, with the intention to migrate to an Institute and Charity in the next two years.
Planned membership benefits are described as teaching modules, monthly webinars, special interest groups, and annual scientific conference, and international collaborations. Future plans also include establishing a mentorship program both for students and for those in more senior roles.
To mark the launch of UKDHC anyone who registers their interest in membership by 31 January will receive a 50% reduction in annual membership fees. The reduced fees are £60 for Full Members and £30 for student membership.