News round-up (16 April)

man looking at online news headlines
16th April 2021 about a 3 minute read
While rising NHS waitings lists and debate over compulsory COVID tests for care staff dominate the headlines, here are some other stories that caught our eye...

Remote working: NHS trust seeks dedicated liver specialist ‘cyber nurse’

A hospital trust is looking to recruit a dedicated ‘cyber nurse’ to work from home conducting remote clinics with patients who have liver conditions.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is advertising the virtual clinical nurse specialist role in hepatology to support patients living in rural parts of the county.

The new role will allow one-to-one virtual clinics to be conducted remotely during lockdown and beyond.

Shaping the future of digital technology in health and social care

A new report from the King’s Fund highlights evidence on how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, smartphones, wearable devices and the internet of things are being used within care settings around the world.

The document, commissioned by the Health Foundation, analyses the available evidence around the use of these technologies to support leaders in health and care to engage in long-term thinking about the role of digital technology. 

The authors consider recent developments in digital technology in the health and care system pre-pandemic. They also look at evidence e from the King’s Fund’s on how digital technologies have been used during the pandemic, in England in particular.

Asthma drug shortens recovery time in COVID-19 patients at home

Early treatment with an asthma drug budesonide shortens recovery time in COVID-19 patients aged over 50 who are treated at home or in other community settings, according to the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) website.

The UKRI and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds the Platform Randomised Trial of Interventions against COVID-19 in Older People (PRINCIPLE) trial through the COVID-19 Rapid Response rolling call.

The trial is led by the University of Oxford and is the world’s largest Phase 3 platform randomised controlled trial to find clear evidence of an effective COVID-19 treatment for use in primary care that can significantly shorten recovery time.

A European approach to Artificial Intelligence

The European Commission’s approach to Artificial Intelligence centres around “excellence and trust” according to a policy document on shaping Europe’s digital future. 

The report notes that Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of strategic importance and a key driver of economic development. It can bring solutions to many societal challenges from treating diseases to minimising the environmental impact of farming. However, there are socio-economic, legal and ethical impacts of AI that have to be carefully addressed.

Europe seeks to limit use of AI in society

According to the BBC website, the use of facial recognition for surveillance, or algorithms that manipulate human behaviour, will be banned under proposed EU regulations on artificial intelligence due to be unveiled next week.

The wide-ranging proposals, which were leaked ahead of their official publication, also promised tough new rules for what is deemed “high-risk AI” which includes algorithms used in recruitment.



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