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

👇 News 

🤗 Digital transformation company ANS has supported the charity Facial Palsy UK (FPUK) with the implementation of Microsoft’s Copilot Service. Microsoft’s AI programme will help patients and medical professionals find accurate and relevant information on the charity’s website. Founded in 2012, FPUK is the primary charity offering support and guidance for people affected by facial palsy, a condition resulting in temporary or permanent damage or absence or impairment of the facial nerve. Facial palsy can be a result of more than 60 different causes, including disease and stroke. 

🔐 Local Authorities and care providers can now access a business continuity plan audit tool that aims to consider how thoroughly cyber security and data protection issues are addressed as part of a business continuity plan. This will help both care providers and local authorities to understand how assured they should feel about the level of planning in place to minimise the impact of a data breach or cyber attack. The tool was developed by Buckinghamshire Council who identified a need to check the effectiveness of business continuity plans in efforts to support care providers with minimising the impact of a data breach or cyber attack. Care providers are also expected to use the Data Security & Protection Toolkit at least once a year to check and improve their data security arrangements. 

🔎 Newly published in Nature, findings from an analysis on the multicenter, observational WATCH-PD study demonstrated that digital composite measures for upper and lower extremity bradykinesia were more sensitive to 1-year longitudinal disease progression for early Parkinson disease (PD) compared with traditional measurement approaches. These results suggest the potential of digital health technologies for improving sensitivity to disease progression and may be used as a basis for treatment development tools in clinical research. 

💓 In a Leicester study that looked at whether AI can be used to predict whether a person was at risk of a lethal heart rhythm, an AI tool correctly identified the condition 80 per cent of the time. The findings of the study have been published in the European Heart Journal – Digital Health. The tool examined Holter electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 270 adults taken during their normal daily routine at home. These adults had the Holter ECGs taken as part of their NHS care between 2014 and 2022. Outcomes for these patients were known, and 159 had sadly experienced lethal ventricular arrhythmias, a heart rhythm disturbance originating from the bottom chambers (ventricles), on average 1.6 years following the ECG. The AI tool, VA-ResNet-50, was used to retrospectively examine ‘normal for patient’ heart rhythms to see if their heart was capable of the lethal arrythmias. 

😔 How we write our social media posts might reveal whether we’re depressed or anxious. But research methods for finding signs of depression in text don’t work across racial groups, according to a new report funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study is part of an effort by the agency to root out health misinformation among populations that experience higher averages of preventable disease. Researchers analysed 868 Facebook posts from people ages 18 to 72 with mild depression. Three-quarters of the posts were by women. The researchers found that existing models for detecting depression from text performed poorly for Black participants. That remained true even when the algorithms were trained on language exclusively from Black participants. 

❓ Did you know that? 

A new study from Elsevier conducted in collaboration with Emirates Health Services has confirmed the positive impact of Clinical Decision Support (CDS) systems in a real-world clinical setting. The findings demonstrated enhanced efficiencies, reduced variability in care, and improved outcomes for patients. 

The key findings from the study titled, ‘The Power of Applied Evidence at the Point of Care: The Utilization of Evidence-Based Order Sets and Care Plans to Support Clinical Decision Making,’ include: 

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Analysis estimated that approximately 894 hours of physicians’ time could potentially be saved if all physicians used order sets when admitting patients. 
  • Alignment with Joint Commission International Standards (JCI): The implementation of evidence-based care plans ensured that 90.9% of patients received a care plan within 24 hours of admission, aligning with one of the JCI standards. 
  • Improved Standardisation of Care: The workforce expressed a high level of satisfaction and confidence in the evidence-based solutions. These tools enabled healthcare professionals to adopt a safety checklist approach, ensuring consistent care for all patients. 

📖 What we’re reading 

GE HealthCare – Mastering the molecular: Precision Care is the future of healthcare by Taha Kass-Hout, chief technology officer at GE HealthCare

🚨 This week’s events 

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