Dateline: a night towards the end of November 2017, somewhere in the Accident and Emergency department (ER) of St Thomas’ Hospital, on the south bank of the River Thames in central London. Your correspondent is being wheeled into a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine to have some sort of scan. Just before the procedure begins, the nurse in charge gives a final instruction: “don’t forget to smile in there.”

It’s this spirit, moments where humanity meets technology meets medicine, which you’ll find running through issue 2 of Magpie. Taking a sideways view of health, we want to show you different angles and unexpected views on some of the key trends, topics and talking points in an industry that is only going to continue to grow in economic importance.

So while you’ll discover stories and analysis from the frontline of how healthcare is being transformed by digital and genomic technology, we’ve also tried to consider some of the policy and societal implications of challenges such as ageing populations, the impact on children’s health from the rapid proliferation of screens, and even what end of life care might be like where you live.

If that sounds bleak, rest assured it isn’t. In putting this issue together we’ve found that, more than anything, the passion – the purpose – that people have to care for others is intact, no matter how dramatic the change buffeting the sector is.

Do let us know what you think of the issue below (and remember to hit full screen for the best reading experience), and indeed any prescriptions for improvement you might have, via