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  • Government commits £30 million towards innovative tech for NHS

    The is investing £30m in so-called innovative medical technology (medtech), which its says will help ease pressures on the NHS this winter and could include the expansion of 3D checks that speed up cancer tests and novel logistics solutions such as the use of… drones.

    Available to each region in England, ICSs – organisations that come together in local areas to deliver joined up health and social care services – can now bid for funding to invest in the latest technology that can help cut waiting lists, speed up diagnosis and deliver new and improved ways to treat patients.

    Depending on local need, ICSs could use the funding to expand virtual wards, allowing more patients to receive the care they need at home, freeing up hospital beds. Over 9,800 virtual ward beds have already been created, and the NHS is on track to meet its target and deliver 10,000 ahead of winter.

    ICSs could also invest in wearable medical devices for use by patients at home, to aid diagnosis and management of  numerous chronic conditions – these devices allow the monitoring of vital signs such as blood oxygen levels, heartbeat and blood pressure. Alternatively, investing in digital 3D and other imaging technology could bolster diagnostic tests, supporting the NHS to detect and treat cancer and other serious illnesses earlier.

    Local NHS areas known as integrated care systems can now submit bids to the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England to access the funds so they can roll out the technology.

    Earlier this year, the government published its medical technology strategy, which set out steps to ensure patients can access safe, effective and innovative technology through the NHS.

    This builds on the £21 million artificial intelligence (AI) diagnostics fund, which aims to improve access to the latest AI technology to diagnose and treat patients more quickly. NHS trusts were invited to bid for funding to accelerate the rollout of the most promising AI imaging and decision support tools to help diagnose patients more quickly for conditions such as cancer, stroke and heart conditions.


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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