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

👇 News  

📟 Hundreds of people across Cornwall who need care and support to stay safe and independent in their own homes are set to benefit from new cutting-edge digital technology. Cornwall Council-owned care provider Corserv has joined forces with digital care technology company 2iC-Care to roll out their cutting-edge digital technology across the county. The new partnership promises to transform care at home for thousands of people across Cornwall and save our local healthcare system thousands of pounds this winter. 

Improving patient safety and saving money using digital technologies has been a key focus for Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) NHS Trust since it embarked on its Scan4Safety Journey. More recently, the Scan4Safety team, led by Rachael Ellis, Scan4Safety Programme Director, has taken its innovative thinking a stage further by combining the proven benefits of barcode scanning with the powers of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). By working with The Barcode Warehouse to implement RFID solutions, each search of new devices, which once took over 3 hours, now takes less than 43 seconds on average. This saves about 35.2 hours per employee per year, equal to 88,000 hours across 2,500 staff, the equivalent of 2,346 weeks of time per year – these are only some of the ROIs already experienced by Hull NHS. 

💊 The Department of Health and Social Care is launching a Pharmacy First Service in England and expanding its existing blood pressure and contraception services in line with its Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care, published earlier this year. As part of the plan, the government and NHS will invest to significantly connect and improve the digital infrastructure between general practice and community pharmacy to streamline referrals, increase access to more parts of the GP patient record, and improve how GP records are updated following the provision of pharmacy services. The system will have access to more parts of the GP record (medications, observations and investigations) and use the new Pharmacy First consultation record to capture the consultation which will then send automatic structured updates to the GP record and to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) to support payments and reporting on the service. The DHSC is also working with NHS Pathways to develop the clinical triage system to send electronic referrals from NHS 111 and Urgent and Emergency Care settings to community pharmacy that may otherwise go to a GP practice, and with existing IT suppliers to streamline referrals from GPs, moving away from NHSmail. The developments create additional step changes to further integrate community pharmacy and paves the way in the future for commissioning a wider range of clinical services at neighbourhood, place, integrated care board and national level. 

💻 UnitedHealthcare has been sued for allegedly denying healthcare claims based on a faulty AI model, STAT reports. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis on behalf of the estates of two elderly men, alleges that at least since UnitedHealthcare’s 2020 acquisition of post-acute care management firm Navihealth, the US health insurance giant has repeatedly and wrongfully refused to pay the healthcare claims of senior patients using their Medicare Advantage Plans, apparently using advice from a self-serving algorithm. 

Artificial intelligence could be used to predict if a person is at risk of having a heart attack up to 10 years in the future, a study has found. The technology could save thousands of lives while improving treatment for almost half of patients, researchers at the University of Oxford said. The study, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), looked at how AI might improve the accuracy of cardiac CT scans, which are used to detect blockages or narrowing in the arteries. 

❓ Did you know that?  

Better Security, Better Care has produced a new video to raise awareness of the programme’s free nationwide local support model. The video hears from 8 different care services who detail their experiences of implementing good data security practices and accessing the free support available from their Local Support Organisation. The video features East Midlands Care Association (EMCARE), one of 28 Local Support Organisations working on the Better Security, Better Care programme to help care services with their data and cyber security arrangements. 

📖 What we’re reading 

In a world first, the UK medicines regulator has approved a therapy that uses CRISPR gene editing as a treatment for diseases, Nature reports. The decision marks another high point for a biotechnology that has regularly been lauded as revolutionary in the decade since its discovery. The therapy, called Casgevy, will treat the the blood conditions sickle-cell disease and β-thalassaemia. Sickle-cell disease, also known as sickle-cell anaemia, can cause debilitating pain, and people with β-thalassaemia can require regular blood transfusions. 

🚨 This week’s events 

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