A very happy International Women’s Day!

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

👇 News 

👨‍👨‍👦‍👦 Investing in population health management and proactive care is the most efficient way of creating the most value from every pound we spend on health. The Warrington Innovation Network Primary Care Network has been looking to proactively manage hypertensive patients while better equipping them to make meaningful and impactful lifestyle changes. In Warrington alone, a cohort of 880 patients are estimated to cost over £2 million a year. In 2023, the network launched a primary prevention service using the HealthyYou app. Using the UCL partners risk stratification search it identified 2,603 people in these categories and helped to reduce the average systolic blood pressure in the cohort by around 12mmHg, while cutting their average lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease by around 3%. It reduced the average ‘Q-Risk3 lifetime’ by around 3%; with the results contributing to an expected saving of over £400,000 to the wider health and social care economy. 

💊 Leading veterans’ charities have joined forces for a new mission – to find 1,000 former military volunteers for trials into the use of psychoactive medications for treating PTSD. Charities including Head Up and re:mind are joining MQ Mental Health Research in seeking ex-service personnel who might benefit from an innovative treatment, combining use of an investigational study drug with guidance from an expert team of doctors, researchers, and therapists. Clerkenwell Health – a company delivering clinical trials for the treatment of complex mental health conditions, including PTSD – needs 40 volunteers for the trials. To find suitable candidates who meet the stringent selection criteria the team estimates they will need to screen up to 1,000 people. 

👩 Academics are calling for regulatory action after their research highlighted security and privacy risks  in FemTech devices, such as period-tracker mobile apps, and fertility and menopause smart and connected devices. Experts at Royal Holloway, University of London, Newcastle University, University of London and ETH Zurich, have identified significant security, privacy, and safety issues surrounding FemTech, which can pose a potential threat to users. These threats include the apps accessing users’ personal contacts, camera, microphone, location and other personal data (e.g., medical scans), as well as system settings and other accounts that expose security and privacy risks. These apps and Internet of Things devices collect a wide range of data about users, their relatives (children, partner, family), their bodies and environments via embedded sensors. 

⚕ Medical diagnostics expert, doctor’s assistant, and cartographer are all fair titles for an artificial intelligence model developed by researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Their new model accurately identifies tumours and diseases in medical images and is programmed to explain each diagnosis with a visual map. The tool’s unique transparency allows doctors to easily follow its line of reasoning, double-check for accuracy, and explain the results to patients. 

🧑‍🦱 HID has announced a self-service patient engagement and facial recognition kiosk to streamline and secure healthcare operations, created in partnership with patient care provider Certify Health and healthcare kiosk manufacturer CTS. The CTS kiosk uses HID’s U.ARE.U Camera Identification System, which features an algorithm with accuracy demonstrated in NIST testing for face-matching performance. It features presentation attack detection and edge device biometric processing. 

❓ Did you know that 

The risk of heart disease in women is frequently underestimated, with some experts suggesting higher pain thresholds of older women or perceptions of heart trouble as ‘male’ might be contributing to missed heart diagnoses and treatment delays. Women are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed after a heart attack, and they often face delays in referral for diagnostic testing compared to men. Against this backdrop, a free heart screening service is coming to London.  

The Your Heart Matters truck will be available at Battersea Park today (Friday 8th March), in honour of International Women’s Day, between 10am-3pm.  

📖 What we’re reading 

Chronic pain is a health crisis of enormous proportions. In the United States and Europe, about 20% of adults experience chronic pain, defined as pain lasting more than three months. Incidence is likely to rise in the coming decades, owing in part to ageing populations. The past few years have witnessed an explosion in the number of digital tools, some powered by machine learning and big data, that promise to help people living with pain. But there are caveats to keep in mind, according to this Nature column. 

🚨 Upcoming events 

7-8 March, online – Nuffield Trust Summit 2024 

12-13 March, The NEC, Birmingham – Digital Health Rewired 2024