Roundup: Cough monitoring app launched, robotics research company opened, and more briefs

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START OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE ROBOTICS RESEARCH CENTER

Construction has started on a research center for robotics and AI, based on the Edinburgh campus of Heriot-Watt University, the National Robotarium.

The facility is supported by funding of £ 21million from the UK government and £ 1.4million from the Scottish government as part of the Edinburgh and South East region agreement Scotland.

Scheduled to open in spring 2022, the National Robotarium will create innovative solutions to global challenges using research, product design and collaboration with industry. The project will bring together academics and global companies to act as a catalyst for entrepreneurship and is expected to bring lasting economic benefits to Edinburgh and the UK.


BMI HEALTHCARE AND LIVI PARTNER

Swedish medical app Livi has partnered with UK-based independent healthcare provider BMI Healthcare to enable more efficient access to private healthcare.

With the increase in face-to-face appointments for patients during the winter season, the partnership will help reduce current pressures on NHS surgeries during COVID-19.

The platform will be able to manage non-critical face-to-face meetings that can be diagnosed via video-consultations. Patients will be able to speak to a GMC certified Livi GP to arrange a referral to see a specialist consultant.

The partnership will provide better access for UK patients, as they will leverage Livi’s digital platform to access Livi’s GPs and BMI Healthcare’s specialist consultant network.


LAUNCH OF THE MENTAL HEALTH WEBSITE FOR MOTHERS

A UK media platform dedicated to maternal mental health and well-being has been launched in light of research showing that the mental health of new mothers has suffered during the lockdown.

maternity was created by mother of two and journalist Anna Ceesay, who suffered from a bad mood and anxiety during her second pregnancy and found that there was not enough media coverage of the issues maternal mental health.

UK-wide Psychiatric Research Journal One study looked at the psychology of more than 600 women with babies between birth and 12 weeks during the first lockdown. Researchers found that 43% of women met criteria for clinically relevant depression and 61% met criteria for anxiety. The usual rates of depression and anxiety after birth in the UK are around 15%.

LAUNCH OF THE AI-POWERED COUGH MONITORING APP

Hyfe, a new app that tracks users’ coughing habits, is now available in Germany, UK and Ireland for download on Android and iOS devices.

Using acoustic AI algorithms to analyze users’ coughs, the app uses individual markers, including volume and regularity, to help people identify underlying illnesses and detect abnormalities. These markers can be used as an early warning system for conditions such as COVID-19 and lung cancer.

Hyfe Co-Founder Lulian Circo explained, “Coughing is a universal human behavior that can reveal so much about a person’s well-being. Despite this, the cough is often overlooked and Hyfe hopes to change that. We believe that each cough represents an important biomarker for a range of conditions, but so far cough has rarely been understood or analyzed on a large scale. Our neural network can help users identify changes in their health in real time. Our goal is to enable anyone with a smartphone to benefit from an instant and precise diagnosis, whether they are an asthmatic in Berlin or a mother of a sick child in rural Africa.


PATCHWORK HEALTH AND DOCTOR PUSH PARTNERSHIP

UK digital healthcare company Push Doctor and healthcare workforce specialists Patchwork Health are launching nationwide partnership to help primary care services manage capacity challenges created by COVID-19 and vaccination rollout.

General practitioner practices and primary care networks (PCNs) that use Patchwork’s flexible temporary staff pools to fill short-term vacancies can now broadcast vacant virtual consultation shifts to digital locum clinicians through the Push Doctor Network .

As a result, when the demand for in-person or virtual consultations exceeds the capacity of available staff, turnover gaps can be closed and patient care can be flexibly delivered to those with the highest priority.


THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN THE UK IT

Sarah Wilkinson, NHS Chief Digital Officer, was named Britain’s most influential IT person in 2021 by Computer Weekly UKtech50.

Joining NHS digital as Managing Director in 2017, Wilkinson manages digital transformation strategies in health and social services and data collection.

Wilkinson also led a team on an extensive data work program throughout the pandemic, facilitating access to precise data and overseeing projects with in-depth data analysis and expertise.

In November 2020, Wilkinson oversaw the public sector data network transition program, moving the NHS and social care sites from an old data network to an updated version that is expected to save £ 75million per year.


THE PRAYER COLLABORATES WITH MY POSSIBLE SELF

A mental health care provider, the Priory Group has collaborated with the mental health app My Possible Self to make mental health support more accessible.

The partnership combines technology from My Possible Self with clinically proven content from the Priory Group to offer a holistic approach to mental health and help users manage anxiety, depression, reduce stress and improve sleep.

My Possible Self is listed in the NHS Apps Library and offers interactive tools, visual and mental exercises and activities based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and personalized for digital use.


SUPERDRUG LAUNCHES UTI TEST KIT

UK health and beauty retailer, Superdrug’s Online Doctor and medical technology company Test card announced the launch of a UTI “test and treat” partnership.

The non-invasive kits allow UTI patients to test and treat their disease at home, without needing to see a doctor or pharmacist.

TestCard’s technology turns a smartphone camera into a clinical-grade scanner and claims to be just as reliable as professional gauge reading services used in hospitals and general practitioner offices. The test results are displayed in the app indicating the reading results of “negative”, “possible UTI” or “high possibility of a UTI”.


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