News in Brief

News in Brief: ICB People Digital plan contract, virtual reality therapy in Birmingham, AI pilot in Leeds, and more

It’s time for another news in brief. As always there has been lots happening in the health tech community – join us as we take a look at some of the digital stories from across the industry.

£85,000 contract awarded to deliver ICB People Digital Plans

A contract worth £85,000 has been awarded to supplier organisation PricewaterhouseCoopers, to deliver ICB People Digital Plans along with expansion of a proposed People Digital Levels of Attainment. The work is to provide a blueprint for other ICBs to follow.

The plans will cover the range of People Digital technologies and describe the journey to maturity in use of the technologies, as set out in the People Digital vision. The expansion of the People Digital Levels of Attainment is see an initial draft developed ready for inclusion in publication of future What Good Looks Like documentation.

The supplier is expected to deliver interviews and workshops with key stakeholders to generate content of the plan, with NHS England directing which ICBs are to be approached.

Virtual reality therapy funded in Birmingham

Birmingham Women and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has offered patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery a new form of  virtual distraction therapy before, after and during the medical procedure.

Virtual reality is being integrated into the trust’s clinical practices with the aim of reducing anxiety in children and young people, with the trust stating that it helps them to “safely complete complex procedures quickly and seamlessly” so that patients can reduce their length of stay and return home.

The trust is currently raising £120,000 to purchase virtual reality headsets with the ambition of making the technology a daily part of care.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust pilots AI in breast cancer screening services 

The Leeds Investigation of Breast Screening AI (LIBRA) study is aiming to develop evidence for using AI safely and examine if it can minimise unnecessary patient recalls, ease pressures of workforce and increase cancer detection rates.

The trust are deploying an AI reader called MiaⓇ – Mammography Intelligent Assessment – with two human readers alongside to examine mammograms for signs of cancer.

The LIBRA study will investigate if the two human readers and AI software can reach agreements on whether the mammogram is norma so that patient can receive the all-clear. If there is a disagreement in readings between the human readers and the software, an additional clinician will conduct the arbitration to make a decision.

Royal Marsden offers Careology app to support mental health in young adults living with cancer

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is implementing the Careology app as part of efforts to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing support for young adults and teenagers living with cancer.

Teenagers and young adult patients who are undergoing treatment will be provided with access to the app, with content tailored specifically for the needs of young people and information provided that has been deemed most important to them.

The content has been co-developed by clinicians and 16–24-year-old patients, and is to accompany information from Trekstock and other charities.