News, News in Brief

News in brief: menopause app piloted for staff at NHS trust, HSBC backs GenesisCare cancer tech, first Turing AI research fellows

August has arrived, which means only one thing for us at HTN – it’s time for our first ever Digital Primary Care Conference. Find out more about the agenda for Wednesday – which features keynotes from Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director for Primary Care for NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Dr Minal Bakhai, Clinical Director for Digital First Primary Care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, as well as a range of sessions from GP staff and industry partners.

Elsewhere, we’ve also covered news that East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust has launched a pilot of a Bluetooth patient flow solution, Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership has chosen Better’s openEHR platform, and Patchwork Health has raised £3.5 million in its latest round of funding.

As for other summer headlines you may have missed, here’s the rest of our news in brief this week…

HSBC UK backs GenesisCare investment into advanced treatment technology

GenesisCare, a private cancer care provider, has invested in new diagnostics and radiotherapy services after securing an ‘eight-figure Asset Finance facility’ from HSBC Equipment Finance (UK) Ltd.

The company says the investment will enable it to identify and treat difficult to reach tumours with a high degree of efficiency and accuracy, and enhance patient pathways, across its 14 specialist cancer treatment centres in the UK.

Justin Hely, UK General Manager at GenesisCare, said: “This investment follows a number of significant steps we’ve taken to ensure timely and high-quality cancer care for our patients, during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. As people regain confidence to visit their GP and enter a cancer care treatment pathway, we are committed to being there to provide world-class cancer services.”

Northgate Public Services acquires Vantage Health

Health tech company Vantage Health has announced that it has been acquired by Northgate Public Services (NPS), a public sector software and services provider and a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation.

NPS, which offers screening software for diabetes and hearing, has worked on programmes such as helping to screen babies for the Newborn Hearing Screening Program in England and Northern Ireland and testing patients with diabetes for retina damage. It also supports medical registries, such as the National Joint Registry (NJR), and the international spinal registry platform, Spine Tango.

By adding Vantage Health to its portfolio, NPS said it will gain an AI-powered, eRS compatible referral platform called Rego, which launched last December.

Tina Whitley, CEO of NPS, says: “Following the pandemic, healthcare is facing a huge challenge to keep up with the surge in demand for outpatient treatment. Effective solutions are needed to be able to manage resources, save money and secure the best outcomes for patients.

“Combining Vantage Health’s ability to transform outpatient care with our expertise of managing successful health screening programmes like hearing and diabetic eye screening, means we can give healthcare providers the tools they need to quickly identify patients who need specialist services and then help them direct the patient to the right support service instantly.”

David Ezra, co-founder of Vantage Health, says: “Joining forces with NPS is exciting. It brings together a shared vision for transforming the way healthcare is delivered to offer the best care for patients.”

First Turing AI research fellows named

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has named the first Turing Artificial Intelligence (AI) World-Leading Researcher Fellows.

Five researchers, internationally recognised for their work, have been selected to tackle challenges in the sector, with target areas for research impact including ‘decision-making in personalised medicine’ and ‘synthetic biology and drug design’.

The five new fellow are:

  • Professor Zoubin Ghahramani, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Samuel Kaski, The University of Manchester
  • Professor Mirella Lapata, The University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Philip Torr, University of Oxford
  • Professor Michael Wooldridge, University of Oxford.

Professor Kaski, who also holds positions as the Research Director of the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology Research and the Director of the Finnish Centre for Artificial Intelligence at Aalto University, will work on overcoming limitations of current AI systems such as requiring a detailed specification of a goal, with the overall aim of helping to ‘improve diagnoses and treatment decision making in personalised medicine’.

Another fellowship with a potential impact on health or health tech is Professor Lapata’s project to develop an AI system inspired by the human brain, to create one that is capable of ‘advanced reasoning’ and drawing conclusions from ‘large and varied’ datasets.

Find out more about the AI fellows, here.

CW+ pilots app that supports staff through menopause and fertility care

CW+, the official charity for Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, has launched a pilot of the Peppy Menopause app, which provides expert support and resources for women during ‘critical life transitions’ such as fertility requirements, parenthood and the menopause.

Currently, staff from both the Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex hospitals – and their partners – can join and take part in the pilot scheme.

Described as a new ‘benefit to support Chelwest colleagues’, features of the app include connecting and chatting with a practitioner, booking one-to-one specialist appointments, and joining an eight-week menopause programme.

The app can be downloaded and the services registered for, here.