Your morning summary of digital health news, information and events to know about if you want to be “in the know”. 

👇 News 

💊 Almirall, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on medical dermatology, and Absci Corporation, a generative AI drug creation company, have announced a drug discovery partnership aimed to develop and commercialise AI-designed therapeutics to fight chronic and debilitating dermatological diseases. The partnership combines Absci’s Integrated Drug Creation platform with Almirall’s dermatological expertise with the goal of delivering life-changing medicines to patients, marking another step forward in AI drug creation. 

MedTech companies Aidence, Incepto, and Thirona have jointly introduced a comprehensive AI-powered software package for lung cancer screening and the analysis of emphysema. The companies aim to support healthcare providers in accelerating lung cancer screening roll-out across Europe with a suite of integrated AI solutions and reporting capabilities that are seamlessly integrated in the radiology workflow. 

💪 Stroke survivors will be aided in their recovery by a state-of-the-art rehabilitation hub in Lanarkshire. Led by Dr Andy Kerr and Prof Philip Rowe in the Department of Biomechanical Engineering, the team have set up a rehabilitation hub at the stroke unit at University Hospital Wishaw with the support of strategic partner NHS Lanarkshire. The hub – equipped with a range of integrated technology, including virtual reality treadmills, power-assisted equipment, balance trainers and upper limb training systems – is designed to holistically address the motor, cognitive and communication impairments caused by stroke.

The technology also incorporates ‘gamification’, such as virtual reality, puzzles and problem-solving activities, which helps to enrich the environment and improves the engagement with and response to therapy. Research will be completed with inpatients in the early phase of their stroke recovery – under the supervision of NHS therapy staff – with the aim of enabling them to achieve, or even exceed, the recommended levels of rehabilitation. 

🧠 Glasgow based design company, Safehinge Primera, has announced multiple live trial partnerships with the NHS across the UK and USA, focused on the treatment of Mental Health, with its move to be first to market non-visual ‘Project X’ safety aid. The company positions ‘Project X’ as a platform for the next generation of patient care and engagement. The non-visual patient safety aid (NVPSA) aims to safeguard patient privacy and dignity, whilst providing 100% coverage, 100% of the time, in all areas of the bedroom, including the bathroom. 

💡 Health and care innovators can apply for the 2024 East Midlands Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) programme. The programme invites innovators to bring forward their digital solutions to address some of the most pressing challenges within the NHS and Care systems, including NHS waiting lists and the promotion of self-care in the community. Those selected to join the programme will benefit from a customized support package, including masterclass sessions, individualised coaching, and the invaluable chance to present their innovations directly to healthcare professionals and decision-makers. The application window runs until midday on Friday 8 December 2023 and you can submit your proposals through the dedicated online application portal. 

Did you know that? 

An independent evaluation of Bleepa has demonstrated time and cost efficiencies for patients, clinicians and the wider healthcare system. The Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust adopted Bleepa within parts of clinical specialties with high referral numbers (including cardiology, respiratory and gastroenterology) in 2019. The evaluation was composed of quantitative data covering 10,000 patient referrals from two trust sites where Bleepa has been in use. 

Within the respiratory specialty it took 0.28 days on average for a referral to receive a response. This is a decrease of 87% from the 2.1 day average identified in a previous study. Bleepa referral data from July 2021 to April 2023 found that the average time from submission of a referral to first review across the trust’s respiratory, cardiology and gastroenterology specialisms was 0.55 days. This was a reduction of 1.55 days (74%) compared to the 2.1 day average time lag recorded before the platform’s deployment at NCA. 

📖 What we’re reading 

Ahead of the Digital Health Rewired conference in March 2024, NHS Confederation CEO Matthew Taylor explains why innovation and greater use of technology hold significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the NHS.  

🚨 This week’s events 

16 November – “Next steps for Adult social care in England”, Westminster Health Forum policy conference (online) 

17 November – Digital Health Networks Debate Series (Online): Why should the NHS be worried about creating EPR monopolies?