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

👇 News 

📱 Hundreds of thousands more people a month will have the option to refer themselves for key services such as help with incontinence, podiatry, or hearing tests without needing to see a GP, as part of the NHS primary care access recovery plan. Around 180,000 more people a month will be able to self-refer for additional services such as incontinence support or community nursing without seeing their GP, so family doctors’ time can be freed up to focus on delivering care to people who need it most. Across NHS services, around 200,000 people a month already self-refer themselves for treatment for podiatry, audiology, and physiotherapy but local services will now be able to expand the option of self-referral to other key services based on the needs of their population. 

💊 Asda is today becoming the first supermarket in the UK to offer an online pharmacy home delivery service, following a partnership with the UK’s largest digital pharmacy, Pharmacy2U . The new electronic prescription service rolls out today to customers of 50 Asda stores across eight regions, who will be able to order prescriptions alongside their online groceries. The partnership between two established Yorkshire-born brands will offer patients greater convenience and better access to pharmacy services nationwide. Asda customers will be able to order their prescriptions 24/7 through Once they complete their order online, the prescription is sent to their GP for electronic approval. After final checks from Pharmacy2U’s clinical team, the items will be dispatched directly to the customer’s door, free of charge, using a fully tracked service complete with delivery notifications and updates. 

🧠 Volunteer led charity, IIH UK has partnered with digital workout creator, 1FitLife, to create specialist activity videos as part of the charity’s ongoing work to encourage people living with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) to improve their wellbeing. IIH is a rare neurological condition associated with raised fluid pressure around the brain, causing disabling daily headaches, brain fog, fatigue and visual loss, which can be permanent. The condition can affect anyone but is found more frequently in women (90%) and is common in teenagers and young women. IIH is more often found in those with increased body weight, and recent studies show IIH is more than a disease of the brain and eyes and that people with IIH are insulin and leptin resistant and have fat programmed for making more fat, suggesting an underlying metabolic problem too. 

☁ Bayer and Google Cloud today announced a collaboration on the development of AI solutions to support radiologists and ultimately better serve patients. As part of the collaboration, Bayer will further develop its innovation platform to accelerate the development and deployment of AI-powered healthcare applications with a clear focus on radiology, using Google Cloud’s technology, including its generative AI (gen AI) tools. The collaboration aims to help organisations overcome many of the challenges to building scalable and compliant AI-powered medical imaging software products using leading data security capabilities and accelerate the development of potentially groundbreaking and impactful solutions that ultimately benefit patients. 

🧑‍💻 Log my Care, a London-based company whose software platform enables care homes and social care organisations to ‘go digital’, has raised an additional £3m funding from existing investor Mercia Ventures. This latest investment will further establish Log my Care as a leading supplier to the learning disability sector and help expand its presence in home care. Log my Care‘s intuitive care management software enables carers to record notes, access medical records and receive prompts and reminders via a mobile app. This helps care managers improve efficiency, care quality and oversight. The platform typically saves carers up to an hour per shift and enables them to create personalised care plans in a third of the time. 

❓ Did you know that  

Thousands of pests including rats, cockroaches and bedbugs have been found at NHS hospitals in England as the health service buckles under a record high repair bill, the Guardian reports. There were 6,666 pest incidents last year, equivalent to 18 a day. The figures also show NHS bosses are having to spend millions of pounds calling out pest control and dealing with infestations, with £3.7m spent in the last three years. Of trusts that responded to data requests, Imperial College healthcare NHS trust in London spent the most on pest control in the last three years, £383,597, with 2,157 incidents. 

The Princess Alexandra hospital NHS trust in Essex spent £273,330 on pest control. It reported 77 incidents including ants in a maternity ward, a fly infestation in a “clean utility room”, rat droppings in corridors and rodents in the ceiling.

📖 What we’re reading 

Nursing documentation stands as a critical aspect of healthcare delivery, ensuring comprehensive patient records and facilitating communication among healthcare providers. However, traditional documentation methods are often time-consuming and prone to errors, diverting nurses’ attention from direct patient care. This editorial explores the transformative potential of AI in revolutionising nursing documentation processes. By leveraging AI-driven technologies, such as natural language processing and machine learning, healthcare organizations can automate data entry, extract key clinical information, and generate personalised care plans, thereby streamlining workflows and improving documentation accuracy.   

🚨 Upcoming events 

16 April, Cambridge – CHIME CIO Summit – CHIME International 

24-25 April, ExCeL London – Digital Healthcare Show