Your morning summary of digital health news, information and events to know about if you want to be “in the know”.
🧫 The NHS is to expand the use of a research platform behind the roll-out of new Covid-19 treatments to help drive life-saving advances for other major diseases. With the support of GPs and academic researchers, the NHS is widening the use of the service to allow scientists to securely analyse data in GP systems – without seeing patient-identifiable information – in a plan which could lead to the discovery of new treatments for other major conditions such as cancer, diabetes and asthma.
⚖ Withings Health Solutions has launched Body Pro 2, a device redefining the nature and use of cellular-connected smart scales. Body Pro 2 is the result of years of research and development, consultation with hundreds of digital health partners and clinicians, and embodies Withings’ vision that digital health needs to be a better experience for all stakeholders. It combines habit-forming user features with a pioneering modular approach to manage chronic conditions within one versatile device. Its core capabilities allow care teams to capture advanced health metrics such as weight and body composition while additional and optional health modules unlock the ability to track advanced and clinically validated biomarkers typically only available in a professional setting.
👩⚕️ University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is further strengthening the clinical leadership of its digital agenda with the recruitment of Dr Jeremy Tong and Hayley Grafton to the posts of chief medical information officer and chief nursing information officer respectively. A passionate digital nurse leader, Hayley is the elected vice-chair of the National Digital Health CNIO Advisory Panel. She was a successful participant of Cohort 4 of the NHS Digital Academy and has since completed an MSc in Digital Health Leadership with Imperial College London. Dr Jeremy Tong, a consultant in paediatric critical care at University Hospitals of Leicester has been appointed to the post of chief medical information officer for the trust.
🦵 UK-based medical device manufacturer Sky Medical Technology Ltd, parent company of Firstkind Ltd, today announced its wearable geko device is now reimbursed in the UK. This is an enabler for clinicians to make a recommendation to the relevant approval committee within their local Integrated Care System (ICS) that the device should be considered for local formulary inclusion. In turn, this will help the 5.3 million people in the UK who live with venous leg ulcers (VLUs) access the geko device, bringing new hope for patients with hard-to-heal chronic wounds.
🧬 History just happened, reports STAT news. For the first time, a regulator has cleared a treatment using CRISPR, the gene-editing technology, for patients. The regulator is the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The product is Casgevy, a treatment for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, two blood disorders. It was developed by CRISPR Therapeutics, the Swiss company co-founded by Nobel laureate Emmanuelle Charpentier, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a large Boston-based biotech firm.
❓ Did you know that?
Truepill, a digital health startup that provides pharmacy fulfillment services for healthcare organisations, has confirmed that hackers accessed the personal data of more than 2.3 million patients. In a data breach notice published on its website, the company says Postmeds, the parent company behind TruePill, experienced a “cybersecurity incident” that allowed unnamed attackers to gain access to files used for pharmacy management and fulfillment services between August 30 and September 1.
📖 What we’re reading
Lina Khan, chair of the US Federal Trade Commission, has compared the power of generative AI to the onset of the Web 2.0 era in the mid-2000s and called for its regulation. In the meantime, she has put the technology to use in contesting a medical bill.
🚨 This week’s events
22 November, 12:30-13:30 – Webinar: The Role of Digital Flow Systems in Optimising for Winter
23 November, 12:30-13:30 – Webinar: Establishing effective partnerships for digital health start-ups