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

👇 News 

👩‍⚕️ A pioneering apprenticeships partnership has just been launched in East Anglia which will transform apprenticeship provision to boost health and social care careers. The Centre of Excellence for Health Apprenticeships (CEHA), announced yesterday, will provide apprenticeship progression routes from levels 2 through to 7 in East Anglia, becoming a ‘one-stop-shop’ for learners while tackling gaps in the health and social care workforce. While training and education are costly, implementing this initiative makes it more accessible for those who want to join the sector and have a positive impact on others’ lives: the cost of training should not be what stops someone who is passionate about the cause to not be able to pursue such a career.

🗺  Today, a clear path ahead has been set out for the development of new and robust regulations for medical devices in the UK. The new regulations will put patient safety first and help to ensure that patients continue to have access without delay to the devices they need, whilst enhancing the UK’s position as a world-leading environment for medical technology innovators. This new ‘roadmap’ for new regulations, from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), will enhance the UK’s ability to benefit from rapidly advancing medical technology, offering significant new opportunities for patients and healthcare. 

🧑‍⚕️, a leading global innovator in medical imaging solutions, has announced its 13th FDA clearance for their AI-enabled solutions. Qure’s chest X-ray based qXR-LN uses AI to identify and localise lung nodules, marking another significant milestone for the organisation, strengthening its standing as a pioneer in the realm of AI-powered advancements for plain film radiography and medical imaging. This also marks the 6th FDA clearance for Qure’s chest X-ray based solutions. Notably, this is the only FDA-cleared solution for detecting and localising lung nodules utilising computer vision to have Radiologists, Pulmonologists and ER physicians as intended users. The introduction of AI solutions, such as qXR-LN, presents a remarkable opportunity to cast a wider net to identify potentially malignant pulmonary nodules, thereby boosting the fight against lung cancer. 

🧎 Screen time during early childhood is tied to differences in sensory processing, a new study suggests, adding another drawback to digital media exposure for babies and toddlers. Authors of the JAMA Paediatrics study say they can’t draw a direct cause-and-effect line between watching TV or videos and developmental problems, but sensory processing issues could join a list of other potential issues linked to early screen exposure including language delay, lower cognitive development, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, behavioral problems, emotional dysregulation, and sleep problems. 

📜 A new World Economic Forum initiative, unveiled today, will unlock the transformative potential of digital tools and new technologies such as AI for healthcare, and the critical importance of concerted public-private collaboration in driving their global adoption. The new initiative, launched in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), will harness the untapped power of digital solutions to help address the host of pressing interconnected challenges straining the global healthcare system. The joint effort will foster international collaboration on promising new digital tools such as AI to reshape patient care and improve system inefficiencies worldwide.

Did you know that? 

A researcher leading a new generation of tools and technologies for infectious disease surveillance, testing and care has been awarded the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) top A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize worth £350,000.

Rachel McKendry is professor of biomedical nanoscience at University College London and director of the i-sense EPSRC IRC in Early Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases. Her research lies at the cutting edge of quantum technologies, deep learning and telecommunications for infectious diseases and public health.

📖 What we’re reading 

Steps towards democratisation of efforts in global health and capacity strengthening in low and middle income countries (LMICs) have made significant progress in recent years. These efforts have empowered local researchers with the skills to collect, process, and analyse data, bridging the data generation gap between the global north and south. But glaring disparities remain in the realm of modelling and prediction studies, which are predominantly led by countries in the global north, often with limited transparency in sharing the underlying codes. This absence of mandates to share codes when publishing in journals exacerbates the challenge for researchers from LMICs, who are often located in the global south. AI and ethical code sharing practices can narrow this divide, empowering researchers in resource constrained settings to benefit from public health modelling, according to an opinion piece in the BMJ.  

🚨 This week’s events 

Jan 9-12, Las Vegas – CES 2024 conference