Artificial Intelligence: How to get it right

NHSX has published a new report on putting policies into practice for safe, data-driven innovation in health care.

Artificial Intelligence: How to get it right, examines the ‘extraordinary potential’ of artificially-intelligent systems for healthcare.

It says digital technologies, and AI in particular, are seen as having a key role in delivering on national policy through mechanisms to extend the scope, transparency and accessibility of health services and health information.

In turn, it is thought these technologies could help reach marginalised and under-served populations, create efficiency gains in the operation of health systems and improve quality of care and treatment outcomes.



Children Coming to Hospital

Edge Hill University has developed a new resource which aims to make hospital visits better for children.

Children Coming to Hospital was developed with children and young people and is based on research findings.

It includes two short animations, a comic strip and a leaflet for parents and carers.

One of the short animations is aimed at health professionals and offers practical advice on how to communicate with children coming to hospital.

Edge Hill University


Engaging with culturally and linguistically diverse consumers

Barriers to patient engagement faced by people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are not being sufficiently addressed according to a new research paper.

Beyond translation: Engaging with culturally and linguistically diverse consumers argues contemporary strategies to facilitate patient engagement do not significantly acknowledge ‘several barriers’ people may face.

Researchers say the incorporation of strategies such as professional interpreters and migrant health workers may go some way to addressing the needs of culturally or linguistically diverse consumers and facilitate communication.

However, they do not sufficiently address the range of barriers to consumer engagement identified in the study.

Wiley Online Library © 2019 The Authors. Health Expectations published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Government announces national academy for social prescribing

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has announced the launch of a National Academy for Social Prescribing.

The independent academy will receive £5 million of government funding.

It will be led by Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, outgoing chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Goals include standardising the quality and range of social prescribing available across the country, increased awareness of its benefits, developing and sharing best practice and bringing together partners from health, housing, local government and sport and culture.



Social media used to boost cancer screening rates

A pilot using Facebook to promote breast screening has seen a 12.9% increase in the take up of screening services.

The pilot was part of NHS Digital’s Widening Digital Participation programme.

Around 350 general practice nurses and other practice staff have so far been trained in adopting technology to become Digital Health Champions, including learning how social media can help promote practice services.

Those skills were used by the North Midlands Breast Screening Service in a pathfinder project run by the Good Things Foundation.

A Facebook page was created to provide information and reduce anxiety about breast examinations, the team also posted information on community groups and the Facebook Messenger service enabled women to easily make appointments and ask questions.

Following the project’s success, the same techniques are now being harnessed elsewhere in the country to encourage patients to go for other screening tests.

NHS Digital


Developing a health literate care curriculum

This commentary describes how a health literate care curriculum model was created to educate and train physicians in health literacy skills.

The authors of A Model Collaboration to Develop a Health Literate Care Curriculum argue physicians require health literacy skills to effectively communicate with patients, foster shared decision-making and promote behaviour changes.

A collaborative approach saw the curriculum at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell transformed to include a Health Literate Care Curriculum.

National Academy of Medicine


How one bit of medical jargon fuels public confusion about cancer treatments

In this article, Mary Chris Jaklevic discusses how media interpretations of the term progression-free survival can fuel unrealistic expectations of cancer treatments.

She highlights several recent headlines, confusion among the media and general public over what progression-free survival means and argues news coverage should acknowledge a growing body of evidence cautioning about the use of PFS in cancer research.