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

👇 News 

 🧑‍💻 Tagomics, developers of a cutting-edge platform for comprehensive disease insight and diagnosis, today announces a £6.7m funding round. This achievement follows a £1.6m pre-seed round led by IQ Capital and Start Codon and including grant funding from Innovate UK. The investment will accelerate Tagomics’ scientific research and product development, with the goal of delivering improvements in cancer and other diseases’ diagnosis and treatment.   

 🧠 PREDICT-PD, a groundbreaking research project, which aims to identify people at higher risk of Parkinson’s disease or before the symptoms appear, has exceeded its milestone of 10,000 participants. uMed, the health and research technology company that has supported PREDICT-PD since March 2020, played a crucial role in expanding the study’s participant base through its network of over 500 primary care provider groups representing five million patients in the UK. It achieved this by linking aggregated health record data to pre-screen eligible participants, meaning it was able to rapidly engage 36,269 patients via text message on behalf of the patients’ healthcare providers, without imposing any additional workload. 

 🏥 Saudi Health has launched a project to provide tele-EEG services through the SEHA Virtual Hospital (SVH). The project aims to improve healthcare services for patients with neurological and brain ailments throughout Saudi Arabia, by providing advanced technologies for diagnostics and treatment. The new service involves using advanced EEG devices directly connected to SVH, where a team of qualified medical staff monitors the recordings around the clock. A consultant then issues a final report based on the virtual recordings, with the possibility of requesting medical consultation diagnostics for hospitalised patients in all departments. 

 🧑‍🔬 Diagnexia, a supplier of software, AI, and histopathology diagnostics, has announced a pioneering partnership with Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Nairobi, Kenya, an institution with more than 60 years of healthcare provision and education in East Africa. The partnership will aim to enhance patient care through the provision of expert secondary consultations for cancer diagnostics by Diagnexia’s network of esteemed pathologists, offered pro bono to ensure local patients receive the best possible care. In addition, it will foster research and teaching initiatives, including mentorship, joint publications, and the provision of educational resources and opportunities for AKUH staff pathologists and trainees, and develop and implement cutting-edge AI tools for diagnostics. 

 🧒 University of Louisville researchers have developed a new AI-powered tool that could help doctors diagnose autism at a younger age. Autism is a spectrum of developmental disabilities effecting social skills, language processing, cognition and other functions. The UofL tool has been shown to be 98.5% accurate in kids as young as two, which could give doctors more time to intervene with potentially life-changing therapy. Their results were published in the journal Biomedicines. 

❓ Did you know that 

Frontier Economics has looked at the NHS’ recent £21m investment in new AI tools to read X-rays and CT scans relating to lung cancer faster and more accurately. The study found that if the technology could reduce the rate of false negatives by just 10% in its first year, that would save 191 patients from progressing to later-stage cancer. This could result in 85 lives potentially being saved, with a benefit to the UK economy of £40.9 million. The NHS would also save £1.67 million in treatment costs. If the benefits last a further five years, the economic gains would total around £235 million. 

📖 What we’re reading 

AI is a transformative force in clinical decision support (CDS) systems within healthcare. Its emergence, fuelled by the growing volume and diversity of healthcare data, offers significant potential in patient care, diagnosis, treatment, and health management. This study in Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine Update systematically reviews AI’s role in enhancing CDS across six domains, underscoring its impact on patient outcomes and healthcare efficiency. 

🚨 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