News in Brief

News in brief: 64 trust receive AI funding, PIDMAS system launches, care planning tool for Southern Health, and more

Let’s take a look at some of the health tech news that have caught our eye recently.

64 trusts receive funding for AI solutions to support lung cancer diagnosis 

The UK government has shared that the previously-announced £21 in funding for artificial technologies to support the NHS has now been allocated to 64 trusts “across all regions of the country”, with the technologies to focus on helping clinicians to diagnose lung cancer by performing analysis of x-rays and CT scans.

The AI solutions will start to be deployed in the NHS sites for winter, in order to help tackle associated pressures. The full list of trusts receiving a portion of the funding can be found here.

Launch of Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System across NHS trusts

A number of NHS trusts have shared the news that they have gone live with national initiative Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System (PIDMAS), a service NHSE describes as to allowing organisations to “more easily proactively offer patients the ability to ‘opt-in’ to move provider, when they have been waiting over 40 weeks for care and meet the right criteria”.

Through PIDMAS, if there is no capacity available locally and a patient is willing to travel, their details are uploaded to the digital system and other hospitals can offer to treat the patient if appropriate.

Automation supports referrals to digital weight management programme at University Hospitals of North Midlands

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has referred a total of 211 patients so far to its new digital weight management programme, offering online support on weight management and activity levels for those currently awaiting surgery; the 12-week programme consists of freely-accessible online resources including weight management plans, recipes, nutrition advice, wellbeing support and tips to encourage better activity levels.

Andrew Fraser, business intelligence manager, noted that the UHNM is “one of a handful of trusts involved in the NHSE Weight Management pilot and is the only trust with an automated approach. The automation is these referrals is working brilliantly with minimal staff overheads. Furthermore, UHNM is ranking first in the pilot for referral count to the service.”

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust launches care planning tool

Southern Health has announced the launch of care planning tool Dialog+ across a number of sites.

Dialog+ a digital solution designed to measure how a patient rates their quality of life and care experience and as such assist in developing a care plan centred around what matters the most to them. The tool is based on the DIALOG scale, through which patient answers to 11 questions are used to generate a score for subjective quality of life and treatment satisfaction.

Until December 2023, Southern Health is running a pilot of the tool with seven mental health teams, with plans to roll it out to other teams and services following the pilot’s conclusion.

Role of digital highlighted in South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS trust’s upcoming strategy 

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, (SECAmb) has announced that it is in the process of developing an “ambitious new clinically-led strategy” which names digital and technology as a key pillar.

The strategy is to used detailed activity data to support the trust in responding to patient demand, with focus on “leveraging data-driven intelligence, technological advancements, and diverse clinical insights”.

Chief medical officer Rachel Oaten comments: “By using the wealth of data we have available to us, we are developing our strategy to ensure we’re better placed to meet the needs of our communities in the years ahead, while continuing to ensure we can respond to our most critically-ill and injured patients in a timely manner.”

An update on the strategy’s development so far can be found here.