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News round-up (30 Oct)

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30th October 2020 about a 3 minute read

A selection of headlines that caught our eye this week…

How data and new technologies can help government make better policy

A report from the Institute for Government says the COVID-19 pandemic has “laid bare” the lack of skills among policy makers when it comes to digital technology.

The authors say better use of data and new technologies such as artificial intelligence would improve policy makers’ understanding of problems like coronavirus and climate change.

Series of new AI projects to be launched in UK

The consultancy firm Accenture and the Alan Turing Institute have announced a five-year partnership to create a new data and AI engagement forum, conduct research and develop new apps.

They plan to launch projects in cities including Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle where they say promising technology hubs are already starting to emerge.

Linguistic markers predict onset of Alzheimer’s

A study published in the Lancet’s EClinicalMedicine found that automated linguistic analysis can predict future onset of Alzheimer’s disease in cognitively normal subjects.

Doctors’ confidence in NHS’s ability to cope plummets

A survey by the BMA of more than 6,500 doctors found that 65 per cent are quite or extremely anxious about work in the coming months.

Just under six per cent think current measures will have any significant impact on containing the spread of COVID-19. A total of 37% say they will have no impact.

Tackle social factors to reduce stillbirth say researchers

A study published in the BMJ found that women who experience stress, domestic abuse, deprivation or unemployment are more likely to have a stillborn baby.

Researchers at the Manchester University Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre also found attending antenatal appointments reduced the incidence of stillbirths.

In 2015 the UK was ranked 24th out of 49 high income countries with a stillbirth rate of 2.9 in every 1000 births. The government aims to cut rates by 50% by 2025.

‘Huge wave’ of health tech investment on way predicts John Sculley

In an interview John Sculley, former Apple CEO and current head of RxAdvance, gives his take on the next wave of technological innovation in the health care space and the rollout of 5G networks.

Re-thinking long-term care after the COVID-19 pandemic in north west Spain

The Asturias region of Spain has the oldest population in the country. An action plan launched in June is aiming to transform long term care.

Two pilot projects of small ‘coexistence units’ are being set up in traditional care homes . The units are designed to feel like home, not just physically but also with ‘homely’ daily routines. They are aimed at people with dementia and there are 10-12 individuals in each unit.