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MU hosts DigiHealth Conference 2015

Nina Amedin

The University of Missouri is currently hosting the DigiHealth 2015 conference. The meeting, hosted by Mizzou Advantage, said in a press release that they hope the conference will open new doors and allow programs at the university to utilize digital media storytelling to help people better understand “the burden of confusing statistics and provide a better understanding of health.”

Keynote speakers Pip Hardy and Tony Sumner spoke at 9 A.M. Thursday morning about their program “Patient Voices,” which aims to communicate patients and clinicians’ stories about their experiences in healthcare. Together they have more than 1,000 stories in the past 12 years and 600 of them are released. Their book about the “Patient Voices” program entitled, “Cultivating Compassion: How Digital Storytelling is transforming healthcare,” discusses how people are using this method to improve or learn about healthcare.  

Faculty and students of MU attended breakout sessions and spoke with them at a question and answer forum about their program. 

Both Hardy and Sumner said that telling these stories allows viewers to “walk in someone else’s shoes for a few minutes”.

“Whether these stories are told or not, the stories are always there,” said Sumner.

Event coordinator Jenny Travers believes implementing digital storytelling here at MU is a must.

“DigiHealth is here because digital health story telling is becoming more and more prominent in the health care industry and the University of Missouri is a prime location for a concert in digital health storytelling,” said Travers. “We have a nationally ranked medical school, a top-notch journalism school and a new program this fall in digital storytelling. With these three elements, why not be a leader in digital health storytelling?”

The conference continues today with more breakout sessions and concludes Friday at 4 p.m. Travers said that DigiHealth will hopefully be back in two years to see how far digital health storytelling has come at MU.