Dr. Ijeoma A. Azodo

Dr Ijeoma Azodo

Dr Ijeoma Azodo, Honorary Clinical Tutor, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Ijeoma A. Azodo is a surgeon, health services researcher, digital transformation strategist and coach. Her work focuses on improving the processes and experience of patient care for healthcare professionals using digital information technology.

She uses a ‘people first’ and ‘furthest first’ public health approach to scope and integrate requirements across organization-service-user level needs. Her recent research on wearables and the Internet of Things added support to the importance of aligning people, platforms, and ecosystems in health services transformation.

In 2018-2019, Dr. Azodo worked with the NHS Digital Academy as Director of Experiential Learning, shaping the blended learning curriculum for Cohorts 1 and 2. She currently leads the Surgical Sciences, MSc (online) Communications module (University of Edinburgh).

Deliberate design in health and care

Practicing deliberate design and a focus on care as an active process is one way to develop digital products and services. It acknowledges the shifting communications order, hierarchy and reshaping of relationships to self and professionals in health and medicine. In this talk, examples are drawn from wearable/sensor IoT devices in care practices, digital inclusion, and design processes for tandem users (cognitive and professional) across the US, UK and Europe. Connections are drawn to the implications on access, equality and the performance of self in care with growing technology hyper-mediation.

Rafiah Badat

Rafiah Badat

NIHR clinical doctoral research fellow, City University, London and St George’s Trust

Rafiah Badat is Speech and Language Therapist and and a NIHR clinical doctoral research fellow, City University, London and St George’s Trust. Rafiah was a 2018 NHS Digital Pioneer Fellow. The NHS Digital Pioneer Fellowship supported up to 30 ‘change makers’ employed by NHS organisations in London to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation.

Rafiah is currently leading a half million-pound NHS-funded project working with patients to co-design digital therapy tools in collaboration with the National Institute for Health Research (NHIR), Health Education England, City University and St George’s Trust.


For tech solutions to truly address the needs of all, the design process has to be inclusive and diverse; this requires a broad representation of cognitive/physical ability, socioeconomic status, race, culture and gender preferences. Failing to do this runs the risks of creating products, systems, predictions that only apply or are accessible to some, leading to bias and inequalities which, in the field of health and social care, can have severe implications. On the flip side, an inclusive design approach means that a larger section of the population is likely to be represented thus reaping greater benefits for all.

​Collaborative research involving tech experts, clinical staff, academics and the service-users themselves is crucial for guiding an inclusive design approach. Studies that compare and explore approaches for involving marginalised groups in tech design can provide specific, practical steps that can be replicated and adopted widely allowing inclusive approaches to become the norm. Furthermore, research can provide those that are marginalised with a voice to express their wants, needs and preferences which can garner understanding and empathy from industries thus motivating them to adopt an inclusive approach.

The Shuri Network is for women of colour who are leading, involved with or interested in digital health and technology in the NHS including CNIOs, CIOs and CCIOs as well aspiring leaders. It provides BAME women with a voice and a platform to progress into leadership roles. The network is helping the NHS develop a leadership pipeline that more closely reflects the NHS workforce.


Listen to Ijeoma explain what drew her to medicine and surgery, and Rafiah describe how she came to specialise in speech and language therapy. Ijeoma and Rafiah also share why the Shuri Network is important to them, and how the Network supports women of colour, and allies, who are working in digital health.

Ep12: Diversity, Design, and Digital health with Ijeoma Azodo and Rafiah Badat

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