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

👇 News 

📣 Dozens of health workers are picketing NHS England’s London headquarters following the destruction of Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital. They are demanding that NHSE end its contract with US data and surveillance technology company Palantir, which they accuse of profiteering from Israel’s attacks on hospitals and hospital workers in Gaza, numerous posts on Twitter/X report. 

🏥 Nearly 26,000 GP appointments were freed up in February alone thanks to a digital system that’s available to all pharmacies across Wales. The Common Ailments Service supports community pharmacies to provide services for patients across Wales and aims to free up GP appointments for people with more complex needs. Under the scheme, free treatment and advice can be offered for 27 common conditions including sore throats, colic and chickenpox. 

🧑‍⚕️ Researchers from Saint Louis University and the University of Louisville School of Medicine have found that generative AI could improve healthcare-associated infection surveillance programs, according to a study published last week in in the American Journal of Infection Control. 

💯 The “driving force in advocating the transformative power of data” in a Northampton mental health hospital has been recognised as one of the UK’s top data leaders in a prestigious list. Murtz Daud, chief data officer at St Andrew’s Healthcare, has been honoured as one of the most influential people in the DataIQ 100, a list of the top chief data officers, chief analytics officers, data scientists, data governance experts and leaders of key vendors and service providers. 

🧠 Expert partners in the fields of neuroscience, theoretical modelling, nanotechnology, novel materials, and clinical practice have joined forces under the META-BRAIN project —short for MagnetoElectric and Ultrasonic Technology for Advanced BRAIN modulation— with the aim of achieving precise control over brain activity patterns through the innovative application of remote magnets and ultrasound technology. Under the leadership of the Spanish research institute IDIBAPS, META-BRAIN introduces a pioneering stimulation paradigm with promising potential to restore normal brain activity patterns based on the use of magnetoelectric nanoarchitectures and ultrasound technologies. With ambitious objectives at its core, the initiative has been supported by the European Union under the Horizon Europe program with funding close to €3 million. 

❓ Did you know that 

Leading medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have taken the latest available Never Event data (1st April 2023 – 31st January 2024) and found that August had the highest number of Never Events in the year at 39 compared to January which had 11. There was a total of 282 Never Events that took place in this period – in a period of 305 days. This is a 7.2% decrease when comparing the number of Never Events that occurred in the 10 months prior. Wrong site surgery was the most common occurrence in this report, with 49% (139) of never events falling in this category. Wrong site surgery is defined as a procedure performed on the wrong part of the body, or wrong side. These horrific incidents include (but aren’t limited to) wrong skin lesion biopsy removed (39), wrong side/site procedure (22), injection to the wrong organ/structure (20), and removal of organ/structure when surgical plan was to conserve it (2). 

📖 What we’re reading 

Alife, a San Francisco–based company that aims to improve IVF outcomes through AI – says it trains its models on millions of de-identified data points from patient cycles to help clinicians and patients make decisions based on what has worked best for patients who are most similar, taking into account factors such as age, ancestry, weight, and existing diagnoses. Predictive analytics are among the latest tools being used to assist fertility treatment, Alyssa Newcomb reports in Fortune.  

🚨 Upcoming events 

3-4 April, London Business School – LBS HealthCare Conference 2024