News in Brief

News in Brief: GDE impact, five trusts to introduce imaging system, Medway tenders for health check tech

It’s week two of 2022, and we’re here with our second news-in-brief instalment, covering some of the health tech news that has caught our attention over the past few days.

If you have a news tips for us, or would like to chat and tell HTN about your work, we would love to hear from you – email us at

But for now, here are some quick news bites from across health and care…

New report explores impact of the Global Digital Exemplar programme

A new paper, called ‘Driving digital health transformation in hospitals: a formative qualitative evaluation of the English Global Digital Exemplar programme’, has been published in BMJ Health & Care Informatics.

The researchers conducted a series of in-depth interviews with 12 provider organisations, including 628 interviews and 190 meetings, and also analysed nine documents, to produce its qualitative evaluation of the impact of the GDE programme

Some of the conclusions highlight that the programme was found to accelerate digital transformation, triggered by ‘dedicated funding’, ‘governance requirements put in place’, ‘the emergence of clinical health informatics leaders locally’ and the ‘reputational benefits associated with being recognised as a centre of digital excellence’.

To read the report, please click here.

Five NHS trusts in Surrey and Sussex to introduce imaging system

A consortium of five NHS trusts in Surrey and Sussex are to introduce Sectra’s imaging system to provide access to patient imaging across the area.

Dr Benjamin Salt, Clinical Lead for the consortium and Deputy Chief Clinical Information Officer, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Some of the biggest benefits will be for patients who move around the region as they are referred to specialist centres at different trusts – whether that’s for cancer care, trauma, vascular medicine, ophthalmology, head and neck, plastics, liver, pancreatic surgery and more.

“Wherever in the group a patient has their scan, clinicians will have instant access to that imaging to inform their judgement, rather than having to request it to be uploaded and downloaded by imaging teams. For cancer follow ups, clinicians will have historical imaging immediately to hand. Important operations will be far less likely to face delay due to imaging availability, as will patient discussion at multi-disciplinary team meetings. And an emergency department in one hospital will be able to discuss imaging live with a specialist team at another site. We will be able to view and act on imaging in a way that we haven’t before.”

The trusts involved include: Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust; Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust; and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.

£98k tender opens in Medway for NHS health check tech

A tender opportunity has opened, suitable for a software provide to deliver a ‘fully integrated’ NHS Health Check Software package.

Medway Council are seeking a solution to digitally capture and link data through the process, to support GP practices and the Medway Public Health team.

The deadline to apply is 28 January. To find out more please see the tender notice, here.

OpenDataSavesLives to launch Really Useful Models initiative

OpenDataSavesLives, an organisation formed by Beautiful Information and Open Innovations (formerly ODI Leeds), have come together to launch a new programme, ‘RUM – Really Useful Models’.

The initiative aims to create a resource of dynamic models, source code and advice on how to adapt and adopt them across health and care.

In a blog post on the OpenDataSavesLives website, Peter Lacey, Director, Whole Systems Partnership, commented: “There might be an assumption that when a really useful simulation model is developed it would be picked up and used elsewhere. We have some good examples of this, including work supporting more than 20 local systems to model the impact of COVID using the same model and a standard set of initialisation data tailored for each system. However, generally the spread and adoption of the models we build is limited.”

RUM will operate on a commercial but not-for-profit basis, making resources available under creative commons arrangements to help to ‘better drive up the value added when a really useful model is developed’.

The team have now released a call for any interested parties to get involved.

Brainomix closes £16 million financing round

Oxford-based AI specialist has secured £16 million in Series B funding to support business growth plans and develop its product portfolio.

The company said the investment will help to “build on the proven success of the company’s tech platform in stroke” and “enable value-generating pharmaceutical partnerships to improve clinical trial success, foster broader adoption of existing therapies in new indications, and improve patient outcomes”.

The financing was co-led by existing investors Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) and Parkwalk Advisors, along with new investor, Tencent Holdings, and included participation from Oxford University Innovation Fund (OUIF).

UCLH first in the NHS to use Nanoknife for prostate cancer

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) has announced that a minimally invasive technique for treating prostate cancer has been used for the first time.

The technology works by administering quick electrical pulses, using electrodes, around the tumour to kill the cancerous cells. These electrical pulses effectively cut open the cells’ membrane.

The trust said: “Irreversible electroporation (also known as Nanoknife) can be used with precision to treat the area of the prostate affected by cancer. As a result, side effects such as problems with urination, incontinence and loss of sexual function are much less frequent than when the whole prostate is treated.”

UCLH consultant urologist Alistair Grey, who led the procedure on the first patients, added: “This technology has the potential to benefit cancer patients with rapid recovery and low side effects. It causes minimal discomfort, and we can use it for tumours that were previously difficult to treat.

“What is very exciting about this treatment is its precision in targeting and attacking the cancerous cells without damaging healthy tissue and maintaining the prostate’s important functions.”