Digital Health Coffee Time Briefing ☕ 

  • 18 March 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 

???? Birmingham-based digital denture care company Denturly has secured a £1,284,000 investment to help drive its UK expansion plans. The money will come from two funding streams. £500,000 will come from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) through the MEIF West Midlands Equity Fund, dedicated to supporting economic growth in the Midlands. An additional £392,000 will come from the West Midlands Co-Investment Fund, set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to promote innovative business growth in the region. Both are managed by Midven, part of the Future Planet Capital Group. The remaining £392,000 will come from co-investment from Haatch Ventures and US-based dental-specific venture fund Revere Partners. 

???? Mayo Clinic researchers have developed a new class of AI – known as hypothesis-driven AI – to advance oncology research, according to a study published recently in Cancers. The research team underscored that this new type of AI is designed to incorporate specific hypotheses or research questions, rather than simply relying on data alone, as in traditional models. They posited that the approach could help enhance knowledge discovery efforts in medicine. 

???? A lawsuit filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia claimed the Flo Health app shared users’ data without consent, CBC News reports. Flo Health allegedly shared information, including “details about their periods, sex lives and pregnancies,” to companies such as Facebook without users’ consent. The company denied the claims, saying it does not share data without users’ permission. 

???? Microsoft has partnered with several healthcare organisations to streamline workflows through the deployment of a generative AI tool that drafts clinical documentation. The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience Copilot (DAX Copilot) DAX Copilot automates clinical note drafting, allowing providers to focus on patients without the interference of manual documentation. Stanford Medicine recently announced the enterprise-wide deployment of DAX Copilot to help mitigate clinician burnout and enhance patient care. 

???? A group of researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto has developed an AI tool to help clinicians prescribe warfarin to heart surgery patients. The tool is currently in use at St. Michael’s, where clinicians say it’s been helpful in guiding their use of the blood thinner medication. A study describing how the tool was developed and validated was recently published in JMIR Cardio. 

❓ Did you know that 

A new report from the charity Age UK, ‘I just feel like no one cares’, paints a really worrying picture of the mental health challenges facing many members of our older population (people aged 50 plus). Almost half of people in their fifties said they were not sleeping well over the last year, with two in five reporting being more anxious and almost one in five saying they were finding it harder to look after themselves, compared to a year ago. 

For the first time in this series of regular reports, Age UK’s data collection included people aged over 50, rather than focusing solely on those aged 60 plus. The report helps to identify a wide range of factors that are impacting the wellbeing of older people and highlights how mental health challenges for specific sub-groups such as women, people with long term health conditions, carers and those living in deprived areas, are a lot more pronounced than for others. 

???? What we’re reading 

People living in poverty find it harder to live a healthy life, live with greater illness, face barriers to accessing timely treatment, and die earlier than the rest of the population, says new analysis from The King’s Fund health and care think tank. The analysis, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, highlights that while the NHS can treat the health harms of poverty, wider government and societal action is needed to address its root causes. The authors of ‘Illustrating the relationship between poverty and NHS services’ compiled data showing that people living in deprived communities find it harder to access timely NHS care and are more likely to need expensive emergency treatment. 

???? Upcoming events 

22 March, online – The role of the independent sector in healthcare delivery 

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