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

👇 News 

🛏 England’s top doctor has warned pressure on NHS hospitals this winter is “not letting up”, with thousands more patients in hospital compared to the same time last year. New weekly figures show there were 3,372 more patients in hospital each day last week (97,934) than the same period in 2023 (94,562). Despite the NHS having over 2,700 more beds compared to the same week last year (103,557 versus 100,855) – including 99,887 core beds – bed occupancy is higher, with 94.6% of general and acute beds occupied in the week ending 11 February, up from 93.8% last year. 

📑 Digital Health and Care Wales has opened an opportunity stating its intention to procure a medicines information solution and drugs tool, at an estimated value of more than £1.4 million, Health Tech Newspaper reports. The procured solution will be a single application interface, aiming to be easily accessible to staff, which will help bring users up-to-date information and assessments on drugs and medicines. The procurement aims to deliver a solution that provides “unbiased information on drugs and medicines, providing users with an overview of the drug/medicine and provide access to evaluations of the drug/medicine”. 

👵 Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said its frailty virtual ward is helping to keep older people out of hospital, reducing risks of loss of independence, as well as ensuring that other patients in need of urgent and emergency care get treated faster. The latest national A&E figures, published on Thursday 8 February by NHS England, saw the trust’s performance improve against the target for those who are most seriously ill (Type 1). In January 2024, 50.6 per cent of these patients were treated within four hours, compared to 32.2 per cent in January 2023. This is also an improvement on our January 2020 performance of 49.5 per cent, the last winter before the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the trust has risen from one of the worst performing to the top 25% of trusts in England. 

🖥 A new patient engagement portal is being introduced at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, which will offer people more choice when booking their appointments and improve two-way communication. The portal will be fully integrated with its electronic patient record system, Oracle Cerner EPR, and the NHS App, so that everything is in one place for patients. The service will be delivered in partnership with DrDoctor, and is due to roll out across the trust this coming March. 

💷 Agilio, a UK frontline healthcare operations software provider, has announced a strategic growth investment from Five Arrows, the alternative assets arm of Rothschild & Co., and TA Associates, a leading global private equity firm, to support the next phase of the Company’s ambitious expansion plans. Agilio offers a comprehensive suite of best-of-breed products that help healthcare professionals automate and optimise critical operational functions, such as workforce management, compliance and clinical assets tracking. Since its founding in 2019, the Company has established itself as a market leader in the UK dental and primary care sectors, with many of the top ten dental groups and Integrated Care Board areas using an Agilio system to enhance operations, drive productivity and increase efficiency. 

❓ Did you know that  

Node4 has today revealed the findings of its latest independent research into the UK’s Mid-Market IT Priorities for 2024. Despite rising cyber attacks and the heightened risk of AI threats since the boom of generative AI, it found that the private healthcare sector is the most confident in its abilities to prevent and respond to cyber attacks 89% of IT decision-makers within the sector rated their confidence levels as either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ confident, compared to 88% of finance, 81% of transport and insurance and just 77% of retail. It also found that cyber security risks are deterring private healthcare organisations from investing in AI, as it was rated the top concern for IT decision-makers when implementing AI into their organisation. 

📢 What we’re listening to  

In today’s technological age, the digital health industry is booming. With the rise of digital health technologies, there is a pressing need for the industry to build credibility and trust. The importance of establishing credibility in the digital health industry is the central theme of a podcast hosted by KevinMD, featuring David Lee Scher, a renowned cardiologist and digital health consultant. The conversation highlights the challenges and opportunities in establishing trust and credibility in this rapidly evolving field. 

🚨 This week’s events 

21 February, Westminster Health Forum  – The next steps for net zero and sustainability in the NHS 

23 February, Westminster Health Forum – Next steps for cancer treatment, prevention and diagnosis in England