News round-up (19 February)

man looking at online news headlines
19th February 2021 about a 2 minute read
In case you missed it... Here are some of the stories that caught our eye this week. Only one headline on COVID... that really does make a change!

Thousands more NHS patients to get life-saving COVID-19 treatment

The government announced this week that thousands more NHS patients who are hospitalised due to COVID-19 will be able to receive the life-saving treatment tocilizumab.

Scientists discovered the drug reduced the relative risk of death by 14% and cut the time spent in hospital by 5 day during the RECOVERY clinical trial.

UK government is among top spenders on health R&D

The latest UK Life Science Sector Annual Report says the UK has second highest level of government spending on health R&D amongst comparable countries, behind only the US.

Other stats highlighted in the report include that in 2018 the UK fell from 3rd to 7th in the rankings for recruiting patients to global trial, overtaken by Canada, France and Italy. 

Turing Institute calls for ‘top talent’ in data science and AI to take up real world challenges

Applications are open for the next Turing Data Study Group in April.

Data Study Groups are intensive, collaborative ‘hackathons’ bringing together organisations from industry, government, and the third sector who set real-world problems for multi-disciplinary researchers from academia.

The deadline for applications is 4 March 2021 (12:00 noon GMT) and the event takes place between April 12-30.

An Empathy Imitation Game: Empathy Turing Test for Care-bots and Chat-bots

Subscribers to Springer Link can read this article on ‘artificial carers’ which are often promoted as an answer to staff shortages in elderly care. 

The piece features Asimo, a robot that helps people with disabilities feed themselves; a care-bot called Robear that reduces the physical strain of carers’ work by lifting and moving heavy patients, and a chatbot called Woebot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to track moods and offer tips.

Adapting to the Digital Trade Era: Challenges and opportunities

This article on the World Trade Organisation website looks how the rapid adoption of digital technologies could help developing countries increase their participation in world trade. 

It also reviews the role that domestic policies and international cooperation can play in creating a more prosperous and inclusive future for these countries.

Digitisation of Healthcare and Medical Technologies

Public Policy Projects has published a ‘state of the nation report’ on digitisation in health.

It calls for services to empower and engage patients when it comes to developing new forms of digital and data enabled healthcare. Only then can digital be at the heart of service transformation.