Beyond the Room

For the first time at a Cochrane Colloquium, we will be taking the conversation #BeyondTheRoom. Beyond the Room is a digital conference service, started in 2016 by André Tomlin from the Mental Elf. Its aim is to increase the reach and impact of health events by live tweeting and podcasting from them, to involve people virtually and facilitate a much more democratic conversation (www.beyondtheroom.net). 

André explains:

“Our #BeyondTheRoom service helps health events reach the right audience. All too often, conversations at conferences are dominated by just a few voices. We open up the discussion to everyone who wants to be involved, but also work hard before the event to create a buzz and start to explore some of the key conference themes.”

The #BeyondTheRoom team will include André (@Mental_Elf) and his colleague Douglas Badenoch (@DBadenoch), Sarah Chapman (@SarahChapman30; Cochrane UK's Knowledge Broker) and Selena Ryan-Vig (@CochraneUK; Cochrane UK's Communications & Engagement Officer).

Cochrane UK is also funding four individuals to join the team, including accommodation and registration for the duration of the conference as well as contributions towards travel expenses. We invited applications from patients and other healthcare consumers, students (of any discipline, with an interest in health evidence), and health professionals/allied health professionals. We were inundated with 120 excellent applications and are delighted to introduce the four successful candidates: 

Introducing the #BeyondTheRoom team:

Casey QuinlanCasey Quinlan (@MightyCasey) covered her share of medical stories as a TV news field producer, and used healthcare as part of her observational comedy set as a standup comic. So when she got a breast cancer diagnosis five days before Christmas in 2007, she used her research, communication, and comedy skills to navigate treatment, and wrote “Cancer for Christmas: Making the Most of a Daunting Gift” about managing medical care, and the importance of health literate self-advocacy. In addition to her ongoing work as a writer, she’s a popular speaker and thought leader on healthcare system transformation from the ground up.

Jack Leahy

Jack Leahy (@TheJackLeahy) is a MSc student in Science and Technology Policy at University of Sussex. He has a background in science communications and policy. He is interested in mental health, drug policy reform, and how our values shape our 'objectivity'. As Cochrane UK's former Communications & Engagement Officer, he leapt at the chance to be part of the #BeyondTheRoom team. The opportunity to facilitate inclusive open conversation and perhaps challenge some norms was too good to miss.

Kit ByattKit Byatt (@Laconic_doc) is a recently-retired geriatrician who has eclectic interests: clinical, research, technological and communication. Over recent years he has become increasingly interested in the 'patient' component of Sackett's 'evidence based medicine triad. He was introduced to Twitter at a conference after moaning to a Twitter-savvy colleague about his frustration at not being able to attend both of two parallel sessions - he has not looked back since!  He tweets about these above interests, as well as medical politics and sundry ephemera.  He is excited to participate in his first co-produced conference, and honoured to have been chosen to live tweet from it.

Sally CroweSally Crowe (@sally_crowe) is a Director at Crowe Associates Ltd, which provides consultancy, facilitation, training and project management for patient and public involvement in healthcare services and research. Her interests include health research priorities, health outcomes and using technology for better health. She is a member of the British Medical Journal's Patient Panel, and the Editorial Board of BioMed Central's Research Involvement and Engagement Journal.  Sally has been involved in Cochrane since 2009, as a member of the Consumer Network and the Prioritization Methods Group and has taken part in both UK Cochrane meetings and Colloquia over the years. Sally says: "I am passionate about extending the debate about healthcare research to a much wider public audience to inform research relevance, design and reporting. #BeyondTheRoom offers a structured and dynamic way of doing this and I am thrilled to be part of the team for 2018".

Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin (@Mental_Elf) is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He has worked in the NHS and for the University of Oxford where he helped to set up the Centre for Evidence Based Mental Health. He’s been a voracious reader of Cochrane Reviews for many years and was delighted to play a part in introducing Cochrane to blogging and social media back in 2013. In 2002, he spun out a company from Oxford University called Minervation and he has spent the last 15 years building health websites for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently he has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service, a series of health evidence blogs designed to help professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. In 2016 André launched the Beyond the Room live conference service; bringing live tweeting, podcasting and streaming to health events across the UK.

Douglas Badenoch

Douglas Badenoch (@DBadenochis an information specialist who is interested in making knowledge more accessible to those who need it. In 2002 he co-founded Minervation Ltd to provide design, development and consultancy services in evidence-based health care. Current and previous clients include Cancer Research UK, the James Lind Library, NHS Evidence and NHS Scotland. Prior to that he was Programme Manager at the NHS R&D Centre for Evidence-based Medicine at Oxford University.

Sarah ChapmanSarah Chapman (@SarahChapman30) is the Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK. Her work focuses on disseminating Cochrane evidence through social media, including Evidently Cochrane blogs, blogshots and the ‘Evidence for Everyday’ series for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and patients. A former registered general nurse, Sarah has a particular interest in making evidence accessible and useful to practitioners and to others making decisions about health. Before joining Cochrane, Sarah also worked on systematic reviews for the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Nursing Institute, and obtained degrees in History from the University of Oxford and in the history of women’s health and illness in early modern England (MPhil., University of Reading).

Selena Ryan-Vig

Selena Ryan-Vig (@CochraneUK) is the Communications and Engagement Officer at Cochrane UK. Her role primarily entails disseminating Cochrane evidence, managing Cochrane UK's website and social media accounts, and producing infographics. She also co-delivers talks for students to raise awareness of Cochrane and evidence-based decision-making. She has a psychology degree from the University of Bath. During her degree, she spent a placement year working in a national charity which provides support for young women affected by self-injury and training for professionals working with individuals who self-injure.

Join in the conversation using #CochraneForAll

Find out more: www.beyondtheroom.net