This month’s industry round up features news that Novartis and Wayra UK have partnered to launch a hub to support start-ups and news the Faculty of Clinical Informatics has commenced a project to professionalise the industry in the UK.

Novartis and Wayra UK launch The Health Hub

Medicines company Novartis and O2’s innovation arm, Wayra UK, have launched The Health Hub to bring together industry expertise, mentors and investors in a bid to help start-ups break into the market.

Three start-ups were chosen for the acceleration project now the hub has officially opened. They are: Virtue, Test Card and ExSeed.

They will join the nine-month acceleration programme and gain access to experts and networks to develop their technologies. They will focus on how health tech can be used to drastically innovate long-term disease management by using practical solutions that can contribute to the quality of the healthcare in the UK.

Virtue looks at how technology can be used to manage conditions like Alzheimer’s, heart disease and menopause; Test Card uses colour-coded strips and a smartphone app to help identify urinary tract infections; and Exseed uses a smartphone camera and an app to help test quality of sperm to manage male fertility.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I want the UK to be the best place in the world for health tech start-ups and, through our Long Term Plan and Tech Vision, we are transforming the NHS into an ecosystem of innovation to allow the best technologies to flourish.

“It is great to see Novartis and Wayra UK launching the Health Hub acceleration scheme to help innovators scale their business.”

Artificial intelligence company opens UK offices

Artificial intelligence company has opened its new offices in the UK.

Initially founded in Malta, the company is now looking to expand its operations in the UK market, helping companies realise the potential of AI.

By implementing’s “bots”, companies in the healthcare sectors will benefit from improved customer and patient conversations. collects and interprets all interaction data, meaning companies are able to personalise every patient conversation.

“ consists of multiple technologies that help our ‘bots’ comprehend, learn and act on human input,” said Dr Gege Gatt, chief executive of the company.

“From our UK office, we are now operating across both the banking and healthcare sectors. There is a clear need for intelligent automation in both of these markets, as well as the real-time management of customers.

“ helps companies streamline their operations and provides the technical muscle – through natural language processing and deep learning – to augment a company’s labour force and generate greater business returns.”

Faculty of Clinical Informatics embarks on landmark project

The Faculty of Clinical Informatics has embarked on a landmark core competency project, the first step towards professionalising clinical informatics in the UK by setting out key attributes for accreditation.

NHS Digital has helped fund the project, led by Dr Alan Hassey chair of the Education and Standards Standing Committee and Council Member of the Faculty.

Dr Lydia Jidkov, who is teaching fellow for NHS Digital Academy at Imperial College, has been independently contracted as project manager.

The project will draw on the multi-professional expertise of the Faculty to ensure that the outputs are academically and professionally robust.

“This will be the first step and enabler in our longer-term strategy,” Dr Hassey said.

“Developing and then being able to accredit against this set of core competencies will take us closer to professionalising clinical informatics for those working in health and care.”

Scotland’s digital health champions recognised

The winners of the Holyrood Connect Digital Health and Care Awards 2019 have been announced.

William Edwards, director of eHealth at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, won the Digital Leader Award.

Edwards won the main category award for being a leader and key player in creating an environment and culture for large scale digital transformation in health and care.

Dr Pam Ramsay, from Edinburgh Napier University, won the Digital Impact Award for her work in developing into an e-health resource to support recovery among intensive care patients across Scotland and the United Kingdom.

More than 15,000 people are admitted to an intensive care unit in Scotland each year, and the e-health innovation was specifically designed to help support patients with long-term physical and psychological issues after discharge home. The website has been viewed by more than 20,000 people since going live.

Each of the categories were sponsored by InterSystems.

Two Zebra Medical products receive CE certification

Zebra Medical Vision, which provides deep learning imaging analytics, has received two CE certification for products that accelerate clinical review and diagnosis of acute conditions in medical imaging.

The AI technology, XR pneumothorax and CT Brain bleed products, can flag time-critical cases such as pneumothorax in chest x-rays and brain bleeds in CT scans.

The technology reduces the time it takes radiologists and ER staff to spot acute conditions by 80%.

The Zebra imaging analytics engine connects to any picture archiving and communication system and analyses relevant scans with corresponding algorithms.

Once an acute condition is detected, a standard HL7 message alerts the hospitals’ various systems, such as the radiology department or ER department worklists.

Each hospital can customise the way the alert is presented in the worklist, either with colour coding or priority ranking. The technology can be deployed on-premise or via the cloud, and neither method compromises the radiology core workflow, originally acquired images, or risks breaching protected health information data.

Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre meets local tech business in Birmingham

The Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) met with local MedTech small and medium enterprise (SME) companies at an event to showcase the facilities, expertise and assistance that the centre provides.

MD-TEC Connect was held on 31 January at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre and included talks from industry experts; one-on-one advice sessions and presentations on the centre’s ability to bring medical devices to market quickly at a reduced cost.

Dr Tom Clutton-Brock, MD-TEC clinical director, said: “We were delighted to meet with so many local businesses and look forward to working with a number of them in the near future.

“Since opening in January 2018, we have focused on supporting SMEs through the process of testing, regulatory approval and commercialisation.

“Our facilities are also open to any and all staff interested in developing a medical product commercially.”

Keith Fawdington, managing director of Uvamed spoke at MD-TEC Connect about his experiences of MD-TEC and the opportunities working with the centre has provided.

Uvamed have developed an innovative method of storage for anaesthetic drugs, using standardised colour coding of different drug types to help avoid errors during the administration of medication.

MD-TEC currently has funding to support any company or individual based in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) area, with alternative grant proposals available for those not based in the area.

Babylon launches GP app in Canada

TELUS Health and Babylon has launched Babylon by TELUS Health, a virtual healthcare solution giving Canadians access to healthcare information through the convenience of their smartphone.

Users can access healthcare support and information day and night. The app also improves the efficiency of communication with doctors to help drive better health outcomes for all Canadians.

They will be able to get one-on-one video consultation, allowing them to speak to a licensed family doctor.

“TELUS Health is leveraging the power of technology to improve health outcomes for all Canadians because we believe that by giving people the right tools, information and support we can empower them to manage their own health leading to healthier, happier lives,” said Juggy Sihota, vice president, TELUS Health.

“Babylon by TELUS Health revolutionizes how Canadians can access healthcare with a unique patient-centric approach that’s built upon TELUS’ unparalleled customers first strategy. Quality healthcare and support underscored by putting patients first.”

Babylon already operates a GP app in London and has recently been approved to expand to Birmingham.

Philips acquires part of Carestream Health to expand radiology informatics 

Philips has signed an agreement to acquire the Healthcare Information Systems business of Carestream Health, a US provider of medication imaging and healthcare IT solutions for hospitals, imagine centres and specialty medical clinics.

Carestream’s cloud-based enterprise imaging platform will augment Philips’ current radiology informatics offering for imaging data management, workflow enhancement, and advanced visualisation and analysis.

Philips expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2019.

“This acquisition will enhance our ability to provide flexible solutions to hospitals and health systems,” said Robert Cascella, chief business leader precision diagnosis at Royal Philips.

“The combination of our successful innovations in imaging system platforms, workflow optimisation and artificial intelligence-enabled informatics, combined with Carestream’s cloud-based enterprise imaging informatics platform and complementary geographic footprint will provide a solid foundation to deliver on the promise of precision diagnosis.”