Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson is a registered Social Worker with the Consult Liaison team, Starship Children's Hospital and lectures in social work at the University of Auckland. He consults with children, parents and health professionals on adjusting to treatment, managing trauma, grief and loss. His current research "Extraordinary Children" (funded by the Starship Foundation) explores the evolving parent and doctor relationship, the impact of information technology and the role of parents as active participants in their child's medical care. His publications and research interests include: technology and relationships in health, communication in healthcare, grief and loss, and clinical supervision. During the lecture series he will focus on the rise of technology in healthcare relationships, present early results from "Extraordinary Children" and conduct a "quick and dirty" live research project.

Damon Ellis is a learning designer at the University of Auckland, where he works with academic staff to develop their teaching practice and use of technology in the classroom. He specialises in learning analytics and technology-driven methods of improving student engagement and success.

Session time:
Sunday 26 March: 1:30pm - 2:30pm


Hippocrates and the smart phone: The evolving parent and doctor relationship

Any man who is intelligent must, on considering that health is of the utmost value to human beings, have the personal understanding necessary to help himself in diseases, and be able to understand and to judge what physicians say and what they administer to his body, being versed in each of these matters to a degree reasonable for a layman.

- Hippocrates
Affections, in Hippocrates, trans. P. Potter (1988), Vol. 5, 7.

The accessibility of health information, development of computing technology and accelerating data speeds are revolutionising health care in a manner unseen since the leap forward achieved during the European industrial revolution. During that historical era, new technology and processes changed society and power structures, dramatically improved life expectancy and ushered in a new scientific age. The development of the computer has been compared with the development of Guttenberg's printing press and its subsequent impact on knowledge and advancement. A similar leap forward is occurring now; this is evident in the development of genome sequencing, diagnostic and imaging technologies and biotechnologies that are speeding diagnosis, reducing requirements for invasive procedures, shortening hospital admissions and improving treatment outcomes for children. Set within this context, a proliferation of health information and technology (of variable quality), available to both parents and doctors, is having a profound impact on the parent–doctor relationship.

During this presentation Andrew will highlight some of the health implications stemming from the information and technology revolution, describe his study "Extraordinary Children" exploring the parent and doctor relationship, and attempt to answer a question using a rapid-research approach. Please come armed with your laptops, tablets or smart phones.


Click here to download Andrew Thompson's presentation

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