Knowledge-sharing digital health hub wins funding

King’s College London has won funding to develop a knowledge and skills-sharing health hub.

It will be collaborating with the Patient Coalition for AI, Data and Digital Tech in Health and PIF will be involved in development of the project.

The aim of the hub is to share knowledge and skills about several areas, including:

  • Increasing digital healthcare skills and capacity
  • Co-creation of digital healthcare solutions with users
  • Building new partnerships between industry, healthcare, social care, users of digital technologies and academia.

Funding for the project has come from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Work will begin this autumn.

Read more about the coalition on the PIF website here.

Read about the proposal under the heading ‘Digital health hubs’ on the UKRI website here.

Scotland’s new cancer plan aims to improve survival

A new 10-year cancer strategy in Scotland focuses on reducing the number of people diagnosed with later-stage illness.

The strategy plans to use the Detect Cancer Earlier Programme to reduce the current 42% of stage 3 and 4 diagnoses to 24% in 10 years.

That would mean around 5,000 fewer people diagnosed with later stage disease in the year 2033.

The strategy includes a three-year action plan with 136 action points. 

Find further details on the Scottish Government website here.

Government announces £21 million AI health tech funding

NHS Trusts will be able to bid for cash to help bring the most promising AI imaging and decision support tools into hospitals this winter.

Trusts will be able to apply to the AI Diagnostic Fund for tools which help speed up diagnosis of conditions like cancer and stroke, as well as heart conditions. 

The £21 million funding will be open for bids for any AI diagnostic tool trusts want to use as long as they demonstrate value for money.

Find out more via the GOV.UK website here.

Study: Using a transgender chatbot as a peer educator for sexual health

A transgender chatbot has been developed to talk about HIV and AIDS to young transgender women and young men who have sex with men.

The chatbot, Amanda Selfie, was conceived as a black transgender woman who could function as a virtual peer educator. 

The aim was to see if this new approach would encourage people to talk to healthcare professionals about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV diagnosis.

Researchers found the chatbot was well accepted as a peer educator, communicating on topics such as gender identity, sexual experiences, HIV and PrEP. 

When this was combined with healthcare professional interaction, appointment scheduling improved.

Read the full study via JMIR here.

Literacy charity promotes healthy books for Health Information Week

The Reading Agency charity is promoting its Reading Well booklists ahead of Health Information Week.

Health Information Week runs from 3-9 July.

The books on the Reading Well lists are chosen by health experts and people with lived experience.

They aim to help people understand and manage their health and wellbeing.

Read about the booklists on the Reading Well website here.

ICS forum report urges focus on ill-health prevention

A new think tank report suggests integrated care systems (ICSs) should focus on early interventions and reducing health inequalities.

The report from the West Midlands ICS Delivery Forum follows discussions at a live Integrated Care Delivery Forum event in Birmingham.

The event was one of a series aiming to promote a deeper understanding of ICSs and their potential impact.

Other key points from the report include:

  • Be patient with public health prevention work. It can take time to produce results
  • Preventive action is the solution to managing demand on healthcare services in the long term
  • Awareness of health inequalities must be embedded at every level and with every initiative.

Download the report from the Public Policy Projects think tank website here.

Study: Mental health services must listen to young users

Young people want genuine opportunities to make a difference to the design of mental health and addiction services (MHAs).

That is the conclusion of a study involving interviews with 8 young people aged 16–26. All the young people were members of a youth advisory council embedded in an MHA service.

Researchers say analysis of the interviews suggest services must:

  • Embrace youth leadership
  • Move towards listening to youth experience
  • Act on youth recommendations.

Doing so will improve service design and access, meeting the needs of users better.

Find the full study via the Wiley Online Library here.

Wales launches new national mental health phoneline

People in Wales now have a dedicated mental health helpline via the NHS 111 service.

They can call 111 and press option 2 if they, or someone they know, has an urgent mental health concern.

Callers are transferred to the mental health team in their local health board area.

The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all ages. 

See more details on the Welsh Government website here.

Healthy eating manual added to Men’s Health Forum collection

A new manual is available from the Men’s Health Forum.

Eat. Drink. Don't Diet offers tips for easier, healthier eating, focusing on food that is both enjoyable and nutritious. 

It is written to help men:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid high blood pressure or raised cholesterol
  • Reduce the risk of condition such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Find out more via the Men’s Health Forum website here.