Digital Health Coffee Time Briefing ☕

  • 14 February 2024
Digital Health Coffee Time Briefing ☕

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

???? News   

???? The use of NHS Health Call’s digital remote monitoring technology in care homes has been found to reduce hospital A&E attendances by 11% and emergency admissions by 25% in a new study from the Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) Better Care programme, published today in Age and Ageing – the official journal of the British Geriatrics Society. Researchers looked at the impact of using the Health Call app for 8,702 residents in 118 care homes across the North East of England between 2018 and 2021.  

???? A ransomware attack against Romanian healthcare institutions earlier this week initially took 25 hospitals offline. Security Week has reported the number has increased to 100 hospitals that have resorted to using pen and paper following a “file-encrypting ransomware attack on a widely used healthcare management system”. 

????‍⚕️ With the growing popularity of large language model (LLM) chatbots, a type of AI used by ChatGPT, Google Bard and BingAI, it is important to outline the accuracy of musculoskeletal health information they provide. Three new studies presented at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) analysed the validity of the information chatbots gave to patients for certain orthopaedic procedures, assessing the accuracy of how chatbots present research advancements and clinical decision making. While the studies found that certain chatbots provide concise summaries across a wide spectrum of orthopaedic conditions, each demonstrated limited accuracy depending on the category. 

???? Hevolution Foundation, a global nonprofit organisation that provides grants and early-stage investments to incentivise research and entrepreneurship in healthspan science, is announcing 49 new awards under its pioneering Hevolution Foundation – Geroscience Research Opportunities (HF-GRO) program. As part of Hevolution’s mission to catalyse the healthspan scientific ecosystem and drive transformative breakthroughs in healthy aging, HF-GRO is funding promising pre-clinical research in aging biology and geroscience. Through this first wave of HF-GRO awards, Hevolution will invest up to $115 million in this first cohort of 49 selected projects over the next five years. Hevolution also plans to announce a second call for proposals under HF-GRO later this year, offering an additional $115 million to address the significant funding gaps in aging research. 

???? The London Clinic, a UK private hospital, has opened a new Rapid Diagnostics Centre in London’s world-renowned medical district, at 142-146 Harley Street. The Centre will focus on urologygynaecologybreast and dermatology, as well as support a focus on early diagnosis particularly in cancer.  

❓ Did you know that 

The NHS in England directly employs 1.7 million people (equivalent to 1.5 million full-time staff), with employee costs accounting for around two-thirds of NHS providers’ expenditure, according to the Nuffield Trust. The NHS is the country’s biggest employer and one of the largest employers globally by headcount. According to the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, the projected demand for staff by 2036/37 will be in the region of 2.3-2.4 million and, if met, an estimated 1-in-11 of all workers in England will work for the NHS, compared to 1-in-17 now.     

???? What we’re reading 

Local authorities have influence on the different building blocks of health in their communities, ranging from education and housing to air quality, availability of affordable and nutritious food and access to green spaces. These rich datasets include measures of poverty, including the number of children receiving free school meals or which households require fuel vouchers. Better use of data can support health in a range of ways, says the Health Foundation’s Ellen Coughlan in this blog. 

???? This week’s events 

15 February, online – Reuters Webinar: Breaking Barriers: Advance Health Data Interoperability for Seamless Collaboration in Care Delivery 

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

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