- According to an independent review of the UK life sciences industry, the government must act urgently to ensure that patients and UK taxpayers – not just tech companies – gain from new commercial applications of NHS data.
- According to a new report, the Scottish government’s efforts to reduce smoking in Scotland are working. The review, conducted by the University of Edinburgh and NHS Health Scotland, said the tobacco control strategy had shown a “positive impact” over the past 5 years.
- 56 Dean Street, London’s largest sexual health clinic is set to record a huge drop in new HIV cases for a second successive year. It has now set itself a target of zero new infections after witnessing a two-thirds fall in the number of new diagnoses since 2015.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
According to an independent review of the UK life sciences industry, the government must act urgently to ensure that patients and UK taxpayers – not just tech companies – gain from new commercial applications of NHS data. Sir John Bell, a professor of medicine at Oxford university who led the government-commissioned review, said that NHS patient records are uniquely suited for driving the development of powerful algorithms that could transform healthcare and seed an “entirely new industry”. However, Bell highlighted a “very urgent” need to review how companies are given access to NHS data and the ownership of algorithms developed using these records. Bell argues that the most significant value lies in the datasets used to train algorithms on tasks ranging from speech recognition to diagnosing diseases. As the world’s largest publicly funded health service, the NHS has one of the most comprehensive health data sets in existence.
The review, commissioned by the government following the launch of the industrial strategy green paper in January, also calls for the investment of millions of pounds in high-risk projects, with the goal of creating “two or three entirely new industries” in the next decade.
The UK must remain attractive to scientists and skilled workers from Europe and elsewhere after Brexit, the strategy says. The UK should aim to attract up to one hundred world-class scientist, with substantial financial packages and support, and two thousand discovery scientists from around the globe” to work in British labs on early stage research.
According to a new report, the Scottish government’s efforts to reduce smoking in Scotland are working. The review, conducted by the University of Edinburgh and NHS Health Scotland, said the tobacco control strategy had shown a “positive impact” over the past five years.
However, the report’s authors cautioned that smoking continued to be a bigger problem in more deprived areas. The aim is to have a “smoke-free generation” in Scotland by two thousand thirty four. Reviewing the strategy, the authors highlighted that: Tobacco products in supermarkets and shops had been moved out of sight; Number of children exposed to secondhand smoke in home was cut from eleven percent to six percent.
The review also said there had been a reduction in cigarette brand awareness in young people, which was attributed to products being moved from view. Doctor Garth Reid, principal public health adviser at NHS Health Scotland, said: “The evidence shows the positive impact of tobacco policy, ranging from the display ban which put tobacco out of sight in small shops and supermarkets to the introduction on smoke free NHS grounds.
There are more than thirteen thousand deaths – a quarter of all deaths – and fifty six thousand hospital admissions related to smoking every year, according to the body. Scotland has some of the most progressive tobacco control policies in the world, and Scottish smoking rates have fallen from thirty one percent in two thousand three to twenty one percent in two thousand fifteen.
London’s largest sexual health clinic is set to record a huge drop in new HIV cases for a second successive year. Fifty six Dean Street has now set itself a target of zero new infections after witnessing a two-thirds fall in the number of new diagnoses since two thousand fifteen.
The reduction is attributed to intensive testing of high-risk gay men, quick access to anti-retroviral therapy and trials of the anti-HIV drug PrEP, which will be offered free on the NHS to ten thousand people from next month. The clinic, in Soho, diagnosed one hundred thirty six people with HIV between January and July, putting it on course for a total of two hundred thirty three by the end of the year.
If achieved, this would be the second successive fall in excess of forty percent, down from six hundred seventy nine in two thousand fifteen and three hundred ninety three last year, when clinicians first raised the possibility of defeating HIV. Dean Street’s figures are notable as it is also the largest HIV clinic in Europe and typically accounts for one in nine of all new cases in the UK.
Public Health England figures show that the total number of HIV diagnoses in London has fallen steadily from more than three thousand in two thousand six to two thousand sixty hundred three in two thousand fifteen. It has risen within the highest-risk group of “men who have sex with men”, who now account for more than half the cases. One in seven gay and bisexual men in the capital has HIV. The drug, previously available to about one thousand gay men via the Proud clinical trial, cuts the risk of contracting HIV from unprotected sex by about eighty six percent.