Manchester surgeons live stream surgery to thousands across the world

Surgeons at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital have performed live specialist surgery to over 100 trainee doctors at an Italian conference and over 1,000 online. Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeons Felipe Dhawahir-Scala and Niall Patton each performed a Vitreoretinal (VR) procedure on two patients, which was live streamed to an audience hundreds of miles away. The first surgery was led by Consultant Surgeon Felipe Dhawahir-Scala who performed a VR technique that he introduced to the UK in 2011. His patient suffered sight-loss due to a dislocated intraocular lens. Supported by a team of theatre nurses, Felipe successfully regained the patient’s vision by removing the dislocated lens and inserting a retro pupillary clipped lens. Felipe is the first to have performed this surgery live at an international conference, with approximately 1,000 doctors from around the world tuning in online to watch him perform the operation. The five-day conference, … [Read more...]

AI system outperforms experts in spotting breast cancer

Program developed by Google Health tested on mammograms of UK and US women An artificial intelligence program has been developed that is better at spotting breast cancer in mammograms than expert radiologists. The AI outperformed the specialists by detecting cancers that the radiologists missed in the images, while ignoring features they falsely flagged as possible tumours. A yellow box indicates where an AI system found cancer hiding inside breast tissue. Six previous radiologists failed to find the cancer in routine mammograms. Photograph: Northwestern University If the program proves its worth in clinical trials, the software, developed by Google Health, could make breast screening more effective and ease the burden on health services such as the NHS where radiologists are in short supply. “This is a great demonstration of how these technologies can enable and augment the human expert,” said Dominic King, the UK lead at Google Health. “The AI system is … [Read more...]

Royal Free London and Barts Health roll out 3D image analysis software

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust will be rolling out 3D image analysis software to improve heart disease diagnosis. The new image analysis software aims to improve accuracy rates for coronary heart disease diagnoses and reduce the use of invasive patient testing. Dr Parmajit Jeetley, Consultant Cardiologist and Cardiac Lead at Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust “We made the decision to implement Heartflow at the Royal Free London to diagnose heart disease more accurately, saving patients unnecessary exposure to radiation and invasive tests like angiography. Staff and patients are delighted with the results so far.” Using data captured by a CT scan, the advanced image analysis ‘Heartflow’ software generates a personalised, 3D model of the coronary arteries to diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease, and applies deep learning techniques to predict the impact of any blockages. Use of the device can avoid the need for … [Read more...]

AI: opportunities and barriers to improving healthcare

How AI is shaping the future of healthcare The advancement of AI and machine learning in providing better healthcare is already on the rise across the UK.  Increasingly clinicians are conscious that machine or automation-based healthcare enable a host of benefits due to the many innovative projects that are underway. The NHS’ long-term plan has ambitions to drive its digital transformation to maximise the very practical benefits AI can provide. Currently, the main barriers to progress are the difficulties that some innovators encounter when negotiating unfamiliar regulations, lack of clinical safety and efficacy evidence, data curation standards, talent and skills, fear of change and concerns about the impact of working practices and relationships with patients. Despite this, perception is increasingly changing. As wider society embraces new technologies, such as Amazon’s Alexa, there is a noticeable shift in attitude. Smart speakers are a brilliant … [Read more...]

Cancer web tool receives NICE endorsement

A tool to help doctors and patients make informed choices about prostate cancer treatment has been approved by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The Predict Prostate model and web tool was created by Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s (CUH) Academic Urology Group and the University of Cambridge’s Department of Epidemiology and Winton Centre. Each year thousands of men are diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer and face the difficult decision about whether or not to opt for treatment and the risk of side effects such as incontinence or impotence. To help make an informed choice, Predict Prostate takes patient information such as blood test results, the cancer grade and stage, and details about the patient’s age and overall health. This is compared to data from over 10,000 men to calculate 10 and 15 year survival estimates and whether treatment would make a difference. The work was led by CUH consultant … [Read more...]

Transformation in healthcare professionals’ digital behaviours

How HCPs use digital technology – and how to understand their behaviours For the past three decades the internet has been changing lives, and social media has played a very large role in that. Major social platforms have come and gone but some big players have remained a part of everyday life for hundreds of millions of users. Facebook, Instagram, Sina Weibo, Tik Tok, Twitter and Reddit, to name a few, have changed the way individuals interact with each other across the globe as well as the way data is available to them on the World Wide Web. From face-to-face to social media We have seen healthcare professionals (HCPs) joining these social networks and the online conversations at the same rate as non-HCP users. At the end of the last decade, with many global interactions between HCPs made possible through social media, the health industry and health systems were poised for disruptive change. From static to mobile After HCPs joined social … [Read more...]

Healthcare’s voice revolution

According to research from EY, almost a quarter of UK households now own a voice- controlled digital home assistant device and a further 41% plan to own one in the next five years.  While there are plenty of obvious day-to- day uses for these devices (checking the weather, sourcing music, finding recipes, etc), it is evident that this rapid roll-out of voice tech in the home also has implications for healthcare. Our research reveals that 27% of people with a smart speaker at home are already using it to look up medical advice or would be particularly interested in doing so if the technology were improved further and became easier to use. These are early days for voice-enabled healthcare. We found its use right now is largely restricted to self-diagnosis and fitness checks, including linking the speaker to a fitness band or smartwatch. Yet there are so many ways in which smart speakers might significantly improve patient welfare. For a complex, chronic condition like … [Read more...]

NHSX publishes listening to digital health innovators report

Following the launch of NHSX in July 2019, the organisation held a listening event where innovators were asked one key question: ‘If NHSX and partners were to focus on one or two things, what do you think are the most important priorities?’.         Today the organisation has published its insight and learnings here, outling key themes and how NHSX will aim to address them. The report includes 5 key themes: Standards Procurement Approach and scale Engagement Digital capability On standards the report states “a clear position on standards was widely supported by the innovators, who felt that some of the larger incumbent technology companies were resistant to interoperability and linking to their systems. There were a number of questions received about the commitment to standards of all types – technical and professional – and how they can be consistently implemented as well as plans … [Read more...]

Bayer launches new AI Hub to optimise drug discovery

Bayer UK has unveiled a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) ‘LifeHub’ to optimise data-driven drug discovery and disease detection and diagnosis.   The company has launched LifeHub UK designed to accelerate and optimise disease detection and drug discovery by developing Artificial Intelligence enabled imaging solutions. The Reading-based hub is the newest member of Bayer’s LifeHubs located in Berlin, Boston, California, Japan, Lyon and Singapore. Kemal Malik, Bayer Board Member for Innovation, said “We are delighted to launch LifeHub UK. We firmly believe that Artificial Intelligence has transformative potential for healthcare, leading to enhancements in prediction, prevention and personalised treatments.” As a first step, LifeHub UK will focus on the development of AI-enabled radiology solutions. Clinical AI technology company, Sensyne Health, sealed a collaboration agreement with Bayer earlier this year and will be one of the first companies to have a presence … [Read more...]

Google swallows DeepMind Health

Last November the pioneering London AI firm DeepMind announced that its health division was being transferred to its parent company Google. Now, 10 months later, the move is finally happening, the delay a measure of how controversial and painful this process has been. When the restructuring was announced last year, DeepMind was accused of breaking a promise not to hand over any NHS data to the American search giant. Google said the transfer to its global health division would give DeepMind's Streams app, which helps doctors and nurses to monitor patients with a severe kidney condition, the resources it needed to expand internationally. The Streams app had caused quite a stir when it was revealed that it used the data of about 1.6 million patients, without asking permission. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ruled that the hospital involved in the research - the Royal Free in London - had not done enough to protect … [Read more...]