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wifi networkThe entire NHS estate will soon be able to access free internet as part of NHS Digital’s Wifi Programme.
It aims to get all GP practices set up by the end of 2017, with hospitals and secondary care to follow in 2018. The project’s aim is to support health and care professionals to have access to services, tools and technologies to deliver better care – according to a NHS Digital spokeswoman.

The first phase (of the three-step programme) commenced earlier this year with NHS wifi installed in 991 GP practices across England. It allows patients to access the internet free of charge in their GP’s waiting room, via their smart phone or tablet. “NHS Digital is working to make sure that everyone can access free wifi in NHS sites in England, as set out in the NHS England General Practice Forward View”, an NHS Digital spokeswoman said. 

human heartThe UK's first artificial heart pump has moved a step closer to being used on patients, scientists have said.

It has been developed at Swansea University's Institute of Life Science 2 by Calon Cardio, and clinical trials are due to begin in late 2018 with the aim of a full rollout two years later.

The pump is implanted into the failing heart and should last about 10 years.

Stuart McConchie, chief executive of Calon Cardio, said it was the most-advanced pump of its kind.

"This is for a very sick group of people and there are millions of them in the world, and hundreds of thousands in the United Kingdom," he said.


NHS signNHS trusts overspent by £770m last year in the latest sign that hospitals are finding it impossible to meet fast-rising demand for care while their finances are facing an unprecedented squeeze. That total is £190m more than the £580m maximum that health service bosses had sought from England’s 236 NHS trusts in 2016-17.

The £770m has emerged from analysis of the trusts’ own official figures showing their financial performance in 2016-17 obtained by the Health Service Journal. Its publication sparked a fresh debate about whether the government is giving the NHS enough money to do its job properly.

About 100 of England’s 235 acute, mental health, community services and ambulance trusts ended the year in the red and dozens more only escaped recording a deficit through one-off savings or technical accounting measures, HSJ found.

general doctorEarlier this year, artificial intelligence scientist Sebastian Thrun and colleagues at Stanford University demonstrated that a “deep learning” algorithm was capable of diagnosing potentially cancerous skin lesions as accurately as a board-certified dermatologist.

The cancer finding, reported in Nature, was part of a stream of reports this year offering an early glimpse into what could be a new era of “diagnosis by software,” in which artificial intelligence aids doctors, or even competes with them.

Experts say medical images, like photographs, x-rays, and MRIs, are a nearly perfect match for the strengths of deep-learning software, which has in the past few years led to breakthroughs in recognizing faces and objects in pictures.

low frequency electromagnetic fieldsWorkplace exposure to very low frequency electromagnetic fields may be linked to a doubling in risk of developing the most common form of motor neurone disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS for short, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Previous research has suggested that ALS might be linked to workplace exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields, electric shocks, solvents, metals, and pesticides, but flaws in the design of these studies undermined their findings.

This latest study relied on data from the Netherlands Cohort Study, which has been looking at diet and cancer. It involves more than 58,000 men and more than 62,000 women aged between 55 and 69, and began in 1986.

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