Digital Health Age takes a look at some of the biggest stories that have emerged over the course of the past week.
A digital future
The e-nursing week was launched this week by NHS Digital to help support the adoption of technology by nurses.
The e-nursing week was launched to coincide and support the Royal College of Nursing’s “Every nurse an e-nurse” campaign.
Last year the Royal College of Nursing’s congress passed a motion stating that every nurse should be an e-nurse by 2020. The effective use of information and digital technologies can help deliver better health and social care, they stated.
Professor Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England launched a framework for nursing, midwifery and care staff last year. The Leading Change, Adding Value (LCAV) framework commits to using technology and informatics to ‘improve practice, address unwarranted variations and enhance outcomes’.
About the campaign, professor Cummings said: “I’m delighted that organisations across England are endorsing the ‘every nurse an e-nurse campaign’. Digital technology has a key role in improving delivery of care, health outcomes and efficiency and there is a real opportunity for all nursing, midwifery and care staff to take a lead on its development and use wherever they work.
A hacker alleging to be associated to the hacking group Anonymous claims to have stolen over one million British medical records.
The hacker claims to have gained access to an NHS database, operated by the online healthcare platform SwiftQueue. The claims have been refuted by SwiftQueue with the company stating that they do not hold medical records on its servers.
An NHS contractor contacted the Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Crime unit after discovering that SwiftQueue’s website had been compromised.
A spokesperson claiming to represent Anonymous told The Sun: “I think the public has the right to know how big companies like SwiftQueue handle sensitive data. They can’t even protect patient details.”
The medical records were able to be stolen due to a weakness in SwiftQueue’s software, which should have already been patched. The attacker claims to have downloaded SwiftQueue’s entire database, including 11 million records containing patient passwords.
A company spokesperson said: “swiftQueue recently became aware of a cyber-attack which affected a small subset of administrative data sets, with the breach fixed within three hours. No medical records have been illegally accessed by this criminal and swiftQueue has reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit who are investigating. There was 32,501 lines of administrative data accessed, some of it was test data which related to ‘dummy’ patients. We are in the process of informing the patients affected and working with the police so will not be releasing any further information at this stage.”
Last but not least the second episode of The MedTalk Podcast has launched this week. The podcast sees the editorial team behind healthcare titles Medical Plastics News, Med-Tech Innovation, European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer and Digital Health Age coming together to discuss the latest health innovations across the sectors.
In the latest episode, which is available on iTunes and SoundCloud, the editors sit down to discuss ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli – the bad boy of pharma who made his name by price gouging an HIV drug by over 5000%. In his latest adventure, Shkreli was found guilty on three counts of securities fraud – but appointing a jury proved a difficult task, with some amusing responses from the would-be jurors.
The team also take a look at Modius, the latest wearable device that claims to help the user lose weight. But this is no fitness tracker: taking the form of a futuristic headset, Modius takes a very different approach to beating the belly.
£75,000 has been awarded to a team of researchers and clinicians from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) and Imperial College London to help develop patient processing software.
The funds are part of a larger scheme arranged by the healthcare charity Health Foundation. The Innovating for Improvement programme has been designed to improve patient feedback and help clinical staff improve the delivery of care.
The IT software that the team is building will anonymise patient feedback and put responses into themes to identify areas of improvement. This should help managers spend less time on administrative processes.
Stephanie Harrison-White, head of patient experience at ICHT, who is leading the project said: “We want to listen to our patients and act on their feedback every time. This innovative technology will help transform these comments into meaningful themes that can be used to drive patient-focused quality improvement.”