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

👇 News 

🏆 Feedback Medical Limited has announced that it has won the Gold Award for Digital Solution for Rural Healthcare at the Integrated Health and Wellbeing Council of India’s (IHW) Digital Health Awards 2024 in New Delhi. Feedback Medical was recognised at the awards for its Bleepa solution which supports a more efficient, streamlined process for identifying patients that indicate positive results for tuberculosis (TB) in rural and hard-to-reach locations. It has been working with the Evangelical Hospital Khariar in Odisha since 2022 to support the hospital’s TB screening programme. 

🤖 Intuitive Surgical CEO Gary Guthart disclosed plans for a fifth-generation da Vinci robot on the company’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday, confirming speculation circulating among analysts. The robotic surgery leader submitted a 510(k) application for da Vinci 5 to the Food and Drug Administration in August, after completing a multicenter investigational device exemption study, Guthart said. The company is now responding to the FDA’s questions, which he called in line with “normal expectations for a submission of this type.” When the robot will launch depends on the time required to answer those questions, Guthart said. “It is our hope that it is a ’24 launch,” he added. “But I can’t guarantee it.” The company plans a phased market introduction over the first several quarters after gaining FDA clearance. Intuitive is also in talks with regulators in Japan and Korea on commercializing da Vinci 5, according to Guthart. 

🧠 Smile App, the UK’s very first mental health app for those with long-term physical health conditions, has just launched and is now on hand to provide expert-led practical support and daily tools to support the emotional rollercoaster of living with chronic conditions. Designed to support a range of conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, asthma and long covid, the app is now available on Android and IoS, with the aim to support patients and carers who are struggling with the stress, overwhelm or ongoing worry of a difficult diagnosis. The app incorporates video and audio tracks from a range of clinical experts, live workshops, reflection tools to support people’s wellbeing and even content from people with lived experience of different conditions. It also uses mood tracking and daily check-ins to help to understand users’ unique needs and create a personalised toolkit of content, all tailored to the challenges people in this community are facing.

📈 Visits to the NHS webpage on melanoma skin cancer saw an increase in visits of 741% following the recent announcement from the Duchess of York. Sarah Ferguson made a statement explaining that she has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer. Analysis by NHS England, who runs the NHS website, found that visits to the melanoma skin cancer information page jumped to one visit every 13 seconds over the two days following the announcement. There were a total of 13,662 visits in 48 hours – more than 8 times the number seen during the same period in the previous week (1,624 visits). Last week, there was also a 1,061% increase in visits to the prostate enlargement information page following the news of the King’s health condition, with 16,410 visits in just 24 hours. 

💉 Digital healthcare platform PrivateDoc has been named among a select group of UK providers of Mounjaro – the weight loss medication that has launched in the UK today. Mounjaro (tirzepatide), is a once-weekly non-insulin injection for adults, manufactured by Eli Lilly, that has been available as a prescription in the US since 2022. PrivateDoc, which has a heritage and track-record in providing clinically-proven weight loss packages for those looking to begin and sustain their weight loss journeys, is adding Mounjaro to its comprehensive weight loss packages that champions the responsible use of prescription medication to complement people’s weight loss journeys. 

Did you know that? 

There are more nurses and midwives working in the NHS than ever before according to new figures published last week. NHS England data for October shows the number of nurses working in the NHS in England is now at almost 372,411 – the highest recorded number ever, meaning there over 20,000 more in the NHS workforce going into this winter compared with last year. The number of midwives has grown by more than 1,000 from last year to 23,396 – the largest number of midwives ever. 

📖 What we’re reading 

Is Adding an AI Readout to Mammography Worth It? – More women may be getting an offer to add an AI readout to their mammograms, but they’ll have to pay for it out-of-pocket — and many are wondering if it would even result in better outcomes.  

🚨 This week’s events 

Monday 29 January, House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee – Future cancer inquiry 

Thursday 1 February, University of Oxford – Digital Care Hub, the Institute for Ethics in AI and Reuben College, Oxford, and Casson Consulting, co-host an AI roundtable event