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

👇 News  

🧑‍⚕️ Macmillan Cancer Support, the UK’s leading cancer charity, is investing £350,100 in Lucida Medical’s pioneering new AI platform, Pi with the aim of improving the speed and accuracy of prostate cancer tests. This could help to improve early detection and treatment and reduce the number of cancer-free patients going through more invasive investigative procedures, as well as potentially saving NHS time and money. Pi is built using Lucida Medical’s proprietary AI training technology that that has been trained to identify prostate cancer from MRI scans. Preliminary analysis suggests the software has accuracy comparable to expert radiologists, according to results presented at the 2023 International Cancer Imaging Society annual meeting from a diverse group of six NHS hospitals who are participating in the PAIR-1 clinical study.  

🧠 Cambridge Cognition, a world leading neuroscience technology company, has announced its involvement in the AD-RIDDLE programme. The five year EUR 31m programme is exploring Alzheimer’s Disease detection and dementia risk reduction and has the potential to generate high quality data on the use of Cambridge Cognition’s CANTAB and NeuroVocalix technologies in the healthcare setting, a potential new market. The company offers the end-to-end platform for central nervous system clinical trials for use in-clinic or at home to improve patient experience and accelerate drug development. 

⚗ Almirall, a global pharmaceutical company dedicated to medical dermatology, announced today a new research partnership with the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), an international biomedical research institute headquartered in Barcelona. The collaboration aims to identify molecular pathways and biomarkers specific to atopic dermatitis (AD). New insights into the mechanism of action of this complex disease has the potential to enable the development of novel treatment options. The research objectives of this collaboration include the characterisation of more detailed AD disease models with high physiological relevance and disease predictability. The partnership aims to identify new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of AD as a starting point for novel drug discovery projects. 

✋ Intelligent Ultrasound Group, the ‘classroom to clinic’ ultrasound company specialising in AI software and simulation, is pleased to announce that it has launched a portable NeedleTrainer Plus ultrasound-guided needling training simulator. Aimed at training ultrasound-guided needling in military field-based hospitals, as well as clinical networks outside major urban areas, the system is packed in a robust, portable pelicase complete with a GE HealthCare Vscan handheld ultrasound device.  

📔 A research team from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) has developed an algorithm to provide optimal personalised treatment options for esophageal cancer patients, according to a January study published in the Journal of Mathematical Biology. Esophageal cancer can be challenging to detect and treat effectively, as early signs of the disease – like heartburn and indigestion – are common, and there is no standard screening test for it. As a result, esophageal cancer often goes undetected until it is in its later stages. 

❓ Did you know that  

There have been persistent problems with patient waiting times in numerous hospitals throughout England, leading individuals to endure lengthy waits for urgently needed care. The A&E Waiting Time Report, which assesses NHS trusts based on the percentage of their A&E attendees who waited over four hours during Quarter 3 of the 2023-24 fiscal year, indicates where A&E waiting times are longest: 

  • Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has the highest percentage of people waiting with 55.3% of their attendees waiting over four hours this year. 
  • There are 26 NHS trusts in the UK where all their patients were seen within the four-hour target. Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust had the highest number of attendees on that list with 23,373. 
  • The report found that the trust with the largest number of attendees waiting more than four hours is University Hospitals Birmingham, with 47,519 exceeding this target in the three-month period. 

📖 What we’re reading 

In December 2023, the European Commission came to a historic agreement to create an AI Act to regulate the technology and to protect users’ health, safety, and rights across its 27 member countries. The act is currently in the provisional phase and is expected to become law in around two years’ time. It is the first time such a bill has been created with the sole purpose of regulating and controlling the use of AI around the world, as Inside Precision Medicine reports. 

🚨 This week’s events

15-16 February, London – International Conference on Digital Healthcare 2024