How can technology help in the effort to eradicate heart and circulatory disease? We asked BHF’s new CTO, Ursula Dolton
Like many other companies seeking to orchestrate the raft of technologies entering the market, the British Heart Foundation recently appointed its debut CTO. Ursula Dolton, who has had a wide-ranging career, working for likes of Jaguar & Land Rover, Citi Group and in a variety of sectors, was chosen to steer the ship.
The charity, which provides support to the millions of people living with heart and circulatory disease and conducts invaluable medical research, has an ambitious goal of creating a “world free from the fear of heart and circulatory disease” by 2030. Ursula’s role is to ensure that technology – including data, AI, cloud computing – serves this objective.
BHF’s debut CTO credits the charity for recognising “that technology has the potential to enhance every area of our work.” This is something the organisation recently enshrined in a “Technology Directorate” that promises to embed technological innovation at the heart of all areas of the charity. “When it was clear that BHF was developing this amazing vision for harnessing innovation and technology, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to lead that journey for all of us here,” Ursula says.
The benefits she hopes to usher in include improved supporter experiences, organisational efficiency and effectiveness, and most importantly, technology that “leads to innovations that make a meaningful difference to the seven million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK.”
What does this look like in practice? Top of the agenda is deploying technology to improve communication with those who look to the charity for support. BHF also wants to be more effective at spreading the word about the invaluable research it conducts, and tech can help there, too.