The mental health webinar planned for early/mid January collapsed as the person driving it stopped responding. We now have four potential topics that we are working on, all aimed at a Wednesday at 10am:

  • AskSara from the DLF (aimed for mid February).
  • The MHRA talking about how the UKCA will be managed, where we are waiting hopefully for a thumbs up,
  • “Connected Nottinghamshire”, describing what looks to be a particularly well integrated ICS;
  • Changes to assessment guidelines.

In addition Brown Rudnick is keen to run some legal webinars for us – the first two will be IP protection and the DPA. Hopefully we’ll have a timetable for you for at least the first few webinars for the next newsletter.

The House of Lords Scientific Committee on Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living

So often urgent work pushes finalising these newsletters into Friday which I know is not the best time to ensure optimal exposure. However on this occasion there is a reason you are receiving this on a Friday: The House of Lords Report that I was a witness for last year has been embargoed until today; I did want to share it with you the moment it was published as I think it shows DHACA in a very good light. You’ll find our comments in Paras 312 to 324, or just ctrl-F and put in Lowe, choosing the “whole word” option.


As most of you will be well be aware, CES has been running this week. As all the commentators say, many of the more exciting innovations seem to have stayed away – certainly healthcare has been particularly unexciting and going through the exhibitors, extremely few are recognisable as UK or EU-based.

I have done my best to summarise what I saw as the key points in this DHACA news item, covering innovations and presentations. The two standout realisations from the event which I cover in there, were the realisation that to survive, every business now needs to become a digital business, and how much the concept of the car will change shortly.

The CTA, which runs CES, has produced a forecast of revenue growth in 2021, split between entertaining, access and healthcare. They predict that shipments to the US of connected health monitoring devices will grow to 14 million devices in 2021 (up 35%) and earn $845 million in revenue (up 34%). The entire health and fitness technology category, including smartwatches and fitness activity trackers, will increase 13% in 2021 to reach 69 million units and $9 billion in revenue (up 6%).

AI in health & care survey 2021

NHSX, in collaboration with the AHSN Network, has launched a survey which aims to provide a snapshot of AI development and implementation in health and care, including the impact of the NHS AI Lab.

This follows on from the surveys held in 2018, to understand what AI-driven technologies were being developed, and in 2019, to understand where they are being developed, what problems they are solving and collect more tangible information on the data and regulatory landscape.

Findings from 2019 were highlighted in Artificial Intelligence: How to get it right report  and helped lead to the creation of the NHS Artificial Intelligence Lab as essential to help accelerate the safe, ethical and effective adoption of AI in health and care.

This year, feedback is sought on the NHS AI Lab’s work to-date, plus there is keenness to engage with developers and procurers of AI-driven technologies to gain their perspective on the maturity of the landscape and progress to-date, alongside new opportunities and risks identified. This is all part of the plan to make the UK the best place to safely and ethically develop, deploy and use AI-driven technology for health and care technology. Please do respond.

And finally…

  • Prof Mike Short in his role as Chief Scientist at the DIT is very keen to make people aware that the UK remains a full member of the EU’s Horizon programme, and is especially keen that members should be aware of the Next Generation Internet (NGI) opportunities there. See NGI explained, NGI events (first is on 20 January) and NGI open calls.
  • An online and video consultations tender has been published by NHSE/I, with a closing date of noon 22 January. Estimated value £75m.
  • There were still apparently widely-used apps in the US that have been misleading users over sharing of sensitive data.
  • Registration is now open for the UKTelehealthcare Marketplace online event on 19th January.
  • After the last newsletter Charles Nduka got in touch to point out that articles behind paywalls can often be accessed by pasting the URL into the internet archive: https://archive.ph.
  • I first encountered Charles many years ago when he was seeking support for a proposal to treat Bells Palsy so I was delighted to see that that had sowed the seed for the founding of Emteq Labs, a company that now offers “Objective bio-feedback in immersive experiences for researchers and content creators”. Well worth checking out.
  • If funding proposals I have been asked to review recently are any guide, many digital health entrepreneurs are still either unaware of the importance of medical device regulation, or think it is something that can be bolted on at the end. The BSI medical device blog is a great place to find out more.
  • Following on from last week’s item on the DTAC, the Government has now published a Code of Conduct for data driven health & care technology. Before you ask I will be asking how the two documents relate to each other and let you know.
  • 12 digital health predictions from Denmark for 2021. An interesting list, though I’m not sure about video consultation – they’ve had it on offer at our local surgery for ages as part of askmyGP where I understand almost no-one uses it except when there is a skin lesion of some sort or other clearly pictorial disease symptoms and even then it tends to be conveyed much more often via a high definition still picture.

Thanks as always to Prof Mike Short for pointing me to items I might otherwise have missed.

Kind regards,