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

👇 News 

⚠  Around half of councils in the UK believe there is little or almost no understanding of technology enabled care (TEC) across the health and social care workforce. And while 97% of adult social care leaders agree that TEC is an important way to respond to “the tidal wave of demand and complexity” they face, eight in 10 say building a case for investment to achieve their goals remains a key challenge. The findings come in From ambition to action, the first state of the sector report on TEC. Drawing together a wealth of data, including a new in-depth survey of adult social care leaders from across the UK, it shows the case for wider use of TEC has been proven. The report, produced by the TEC Services Association (TSA) and PA Consulting, the global innovation and transformation consultancy, finds 100% of respondents to the survey regard TEC services – using everything from traditional alarms and sensors to smart devices to help people maintain their independence – as a vital part of their social care offer. 

👵 Everon, a producer of digital grouped living solutions, used its platform as headline sponsor at the International Technology Enabled Care Conference (ITEC) 2024 to announce four new strategic partnerships aimed at helping more people to live longer, healthier lives at home. The collaborations with Howz and their technical partner Develco Products, IRIS-IoT & Cair were announced at The ICC in Birmingham. ITEC is the UK’s leading assisted living technology event with a focus on transforming futures through knowledge, innovation and action. Everon will work with each of the new partners on assisted living solutions that will contribute to improved proactive care within the home and reduced need for care home and emergency admissions. 

🧲 New research published in JAMA Network Open shows that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based risk calculators can predict prostate cancer risk among adults in Europe and North America with some accuracy but remain limited when applied to advanced serum biomarker cohorts. The researchers indicated that MRI-based models have the potential to augment or replace traditional tools for predicting prostate cancer risk. However, few studies have compared the performance of existing MRI-based risk tools in different screening pathways or countries. 

💊 Vicore Pharma Holding AB, unlocking the potential of a new class of drug candidates, angiotensin II type 2 receptor agonists (ATRAGs), today announced FDA Breakthrough Device Designation status for AlmeeTM, a 9-week digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to be used as an adjunct treatment of anxiety symptoms related to PF. The FDA Breakthrough Devices Program designates those medical devices that are evaluated as providing a more effective treatment for life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases. Breakthrough designation reflects the effectiveness of this new therapy compared to treatment as usual for anxiety associated with pulmonary fibrosis and demonstrates the impactful nature of this digital therapy. 

📒 While digital tools have the potential to improve access to maternal care, a new Deloitte report shows that gaps in cultural competency and affordability still remain. The report is based on a 2023 survey that reached more than 2,000 people who were pregnant in the last two years as well as a focus group with 10 hospital and health IT executives. Though many respondents are using digital tools on their care journey, Black, mixed-race and Hispanic respondents were twice as likely as white respondents to say that digital tools for maternal health did not meet their personal needs or align with their cultural backgrounds. 

❓ Did you know that 

Five years into the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, a new report, argues that NHS leadership needs to introduce clearer plans to help organisations create and maintain safety cultures. The report looks in detail at responses to the NHS Staff Survey 2023 relating to the reporting, speaking up and acting on staff patient safety concerns. It argues that the latest results indicate that blame cultures and a fear of speaking up continue to persist in a significant part of the NHS, highlighting several alarming statistics: 

  • 40% of staff are unable to say with confidence that their organisation treats them fairly if they are involved in an error, near miss or incident. 
  • More than 260,000 staff were unable to say that they felt safe to speak up about anything that concerns them in their organisation. 
  • 43.19% of staff could not say that they were confident that their organisation would address any clinical practice concerns raised. 

📖 What we’re reading 

The British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey assesses public mood about the NHS. It is the gold-standard measure of satisfaction among citizens who fund the health service through their taxes, patients who use its services, and voters who elect the political leaders charged with running it. So, in this, an election year, what do the results tell us? This King’s Fund analysis takes a closer look.