A new app to help doctors with referrals for patients suspected of having cancer has been launched. It features a quick reference guide for health professionals, including information on symptoms, signs and images of what to look out for.
It is available as a free download via the Apple and Google app stores. The Scottish government commissioned the development of the app version of the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer. It was produced by the Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies, based at the University of the West of Scotland. The app can be continually updated when the user is in a wi-fi zone, giving them the latest information as quickly as possible. It can also be used offline.
Older patients and people with long term conditions and mental health problems will be among the first to benefit from a major new drive to modernise how the NHS delivers care.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos (22/01/16), NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens will launch the first wave of NHS Innovation ‘Test Beds’.
These collaborations between the NHS and innovators – including Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), IBM and Philips – aim to harness technology to address some of the most complex issues facing patients and the health service.
Hospitals will be given a share in extra funding for the NHS if they draw up “credible” plans to ensure services run as safely at weekends, the Health Secretary has announced.
Jeremy Hunt announced the plans as a study found emergency patients are 11 per cent more likely to die if they are admitted to hospitals on Saturdays and Sundays.
The research – the first to specifically link higher death rates to lower staffing numbers – follows warnings from previous studies which linked “the weekend effect” to an excess 11,000 deaths a year.
Three-dimensional digital tomosynthesis has revolutionized mammography and is now poised to spread to other applications, such as orthopaedics.
A third imaging modality poised for a breakthrough in 2016 is 3-D tomographic x-ray. Over the past five years or so, 3-d digital tomosynthesis has improved breast imaging, and in 2015 the technology was assigned a CPT code (Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes, the most widely accepted medical language used to report medical procedures).
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that a US “digital doctor” will undertake a review of the digital future of the NHS due to be published next summer.The review will focus on “the critical lessons we need to get right as we move to a digital future,” said Hunt in a speech at a Health Service Journal event on 29 October 2015.
The review will be done by Robert Wachter, who Hunt calls an “expert on the promise and pitfalls of new IT systems”. Wachter is the interim chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and the author of The Digital Doctor, which looks critically at the rise of healthcare IT systems in the US.