Inspire’s Assistant Director of Insight, Engagement & Innovation, Jenna Thomas, outlines the knowledge and learning gained from her trip to the DigiFest23 event in Glasgow this week.

On Thursday 14th December, my colleague, Gillian Cameron, and I were delighted to attend DigiFest23, Scotland’s annual digital health, housing and care event.

It was a great opportunity to speak to colleagues who are leading the way in digital innovations across the health and social care sectors. We gained knowledge from those who have gone before us and shared valuable learning on the current digital health care trends.

Gillian, who is Inspire’s Digital Development Lead, also presented an abstract on Digital Mental Health Interventions in the Workplace. She provided insights from our Inspire Support Hub, highlighting her current PhD research on real-world usage of the Hub, which is available to employees across different sectors of the workforces.

Later, we spoke to experts working in paediatrics, optometry and mental health, built networks, and discussed challenges – as well as solutions – with Scottish, national and international delegates.

There were a few key themes that stuck out throughout keynote speeches, workshops and individual conversations. These are the things we need to prioritise when working in this ever-changing digital landscape:


  • Sustainability
    • This is a topic of many a workplace conversation, across the globe. How can we become more sustainable through digital technology when things are moving so quickly? When funding for digital projects can be limited, how do we continuously maintain digital integration?
  • Collaboration
    • This emerged as an important issue. At Inspire, we champion partnership, knowing that we don’t have all the answers. But collaborative approaches allow for the solution-focused partnerships that enhance digital products.
  • Digital Capabilities
    • The digital divide is real. How can we talk about AR/VR when some people don’t have smart phones or have to top up their data to make video calls? Understanding that one size does not fit all, that digital interventions are not the start and end point, that digital they should accompany services, not replace them, must all be considered and understood if we are to make effective advances in this area.
    • Empowering, encouraging and exciting the skills and attitudes of staff teams are essential for any organisation aiming to thrive in today’s world.
  • Data
    • Rapidly accelerating technological advances recognise the value of data. Increasing data literacy is changing what it means to be ‘data driven’. Data collection and analysis need to be embedded in every decision, interaction and process.

At the end of DigiFest23, I came away feeling energised about what we are doing around digital and mental health. As an organisation, we have made significant progress towards digital tools and solutions but there is still much to learn about the adoption of technology that complements our services.


More from our blog