This months industry round-up features news that the use NHS Digital’s e-prescription service has increased during Covid-19 and that TPP has taken up an advisory role with Cancer Research UK.

E-prescriptions increase

More than 85% of primary care prescriptions in England are now processed electronically, after a rise in use of the service during the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest NHS Digital figures covering April 2020 show that 86% of prescriptions dispensed within primary care in England were processed using the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).

That is an increase of more than 10 percentage points since February, when the usage was 73%. In April 2019, usage was 68%.

Some 54% of GP practices are now using Phase 4 of EPS, which allows the service to be used for patients without a nominated pharmacy and prescriptions to be downloaded using the unique prescription ID. Roll-out of EPS Phase 4 began in November 2019.

Sam Robinson, associate director of live services at NHS Digital, said: “Sending prescriptions electronically not only increases efficiency and saves the NHS money, it also helps patients and staff practice social distancing by reducing contacts.

“We are proud that EPS is supporting clinicians and prescribers to care for patients during this challenging time.”

TPP to work with Cancer Research UK

TPP has entered into a technology advisory partnership with Cancer Research UK.

The company was selected by Cancer Research UK to apply its technology design and development expertise and insight in the healthcare sector, to assess discoveries made by the charity’s academic researchers.

The agreement aims to advance the charity’s research in areas including medical devices, diagnostics, sensors and artificial intelligence.

Dr Michelle Griffin, clinical innovator at TTP, said: “Being chosen to work with such a prestigious organisation demonstrates our credibility and trusted experience within healthcare technology development.

“Our expertise across the sector compliments Cancer Research UK’s breadth of research techniques, and we look forward to applying this deep knowledge to find new and exciting methods to beat cancer, sooner.”

Tony Hickson, chief business officer at Cancer Research UK, added: “We have access to a fantastic portfolio of emerging tech through the Cancer Research UK academic community and are eager to see this reach the healthcare setting as soon as possible.

“Our partnership with TTP plc is a great opportunity for Cancer Research UK as it will enable us to deliver our most promising technologies to the clinic, shaping the future of how people with cancer are diagnosed, treated and monitored.”

Survey of CIOs reveals experience of working from home

A survey by AVANT Communications of CIOs from a range of tech companies and organisations has revealed their experiences of working from home.

Some 86% of respondents felt their IT platform and services were prepared to handle working from home, but there were still a number of challenges.

The two most common challenges faced by staff were remote access (26%) and security (25%). Phone systems, collaboration platforms and network security were also among the challenges faced by most tech companies.

Looking forward some 72% of respondents said they would be looking to improve their current collaboration experience which 70% were likely to continue a working from home strategy.