University of Sheffield at the heart of national effort to manufacture medical ventilators

University of Sheffield | April 2020 | University of Sheffield AMRC and Nuclear AMRC at the heart of national effort to manufacture medical ventilators

Experts at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and Nuclear AMRC are at the heart of a national effort to produce 10,000 medical ventilators as part of a consortium of leading industrial, technology and engineering businesses.


AMRC and Nuclear AMRC play major role in Ventilator Challenge UK consortium to produce 10,000 medical ventilators in response to Covid-19 pandemic

  • Futuristic HoloLens headsets, programmed to enable skilled aerospace production line operatives to rapidly switch to the manufacture of ventilators, transferred from AMRC in Rotherham to AMRC Cymru
  • AMRC Cymru scaling up production of approved ventilator models by Oxford-based Penlon in collaboration with automotive giant Ford
  • AMRC’s Machining Group making critical ventilator components

Companies in the consortium have now received formal orders from the government in excess of 10,000 units. The consortium is focusing production on two existing ventilator designs which meet the high-level specification for a Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System developed by clinicians and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Microsoft, who supplied the headsets, tasked Professor Rab Scott, Head of Digital at the AMRC, with coordinating their deployment across the country. The high-tech equipment – initially designed for use in gaming –- will be fitted with software provided by an AMRC partner, the US-based global augmented reality specialist PTC.

Rather than putting wearers of the headset in a fully computer-generated world, as virtual reality does, HoloLens allows users to place 3D digital models in the room alongside them. Users can walk around the objects they create and interact with them using gestures, gaze and voice.

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “The AMRC and the Nuclear AMRC have always been at the forefront of using innovation to respond to the most pressing challenges.

“We are incredibly proud of how our staff have risen to this challenge by supporting the design and manufacture of new ventilators and other vital medical equipment at this time of national emergency (Abridged version of the University of Sheffield’s press relase)

Full version available here:

University of Sheffield AMRC and Nuclear AMRC at the heart of national effort to manufacture medical ventilators

Video consultations: A guide for practice

In response to COVID-19, the NHS is scaling up the use of virtual consultations. Important new information and guidance is now available from researchers at the University of Oxford to support video consultations. 


COVID-19 creates an unprecedented situation. Many GP practices are considering introducing video consultations as a matter of urgency to reduce risk of contagion.

This document is packed with useful, practical advice and tips to help doctors, other primary care clinicians, and patients navigate these almost uncharted waters at a time of unprecedented challenge for the health service.

This preliminary document covers five questions:

  1. When are video consultations appropriate in primary care?
  2. How can a GP practice get set up for video consultations?
  3. How can a clinician conduct a high-quality video consultation in primary care?
  4. How should patients prepare for, and participate in, video consultations?
  5. What is the research evidence for the quality and safety of video consultations?

Full document: Video consultations – a guide for practice

See also: Using virtual consultations in the fight against COVID-19 | Interview with Professor Trish Greenhalgh via Health Foundation

Hospify becomes first NHS-approved clinical messaging app

Digital Health | March 2020 | Hospify becomes first NHS-approved clinical messaging app

Hospify has become the first clinical messaging app to be made available on the NHS Apps Library.

The app offers similar functionality to popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but includes additional security features to make it a secure platform for sharing patient information.


The app, which provides an NHS-compliant platform for sending and receiving messages and can be used by clinicians to share patient information, is now approved for use by professionals and patient across the NHS.

Hospify said it had taken more than a year for the app to pass through “rigorous” testing and assessment processes by various NHS organisations and regulatory bodies (Source:  Digital Health).

Read the full news story from Digital Health 



NHSX tech plan for health and care

NHS Providers | March 2020 | NHSX tech plan for health and care on the day briefing

NHSX has published its tech plan for health and care, setting out its vision for how technology will support the ambitions of the long term plan. 


 The tech plan builds on the principles set out in the secretary of state’s statement on the future of health care, published in 2018 as well as the NHSX mission statement published last year. The aim of the tech plan is to describe how the deliverables in the long term plan will be achieved through digitisation. The long term plan committed every NHS provider to have achieved a core level of digitisation by 2024.

The tech plan defines this level of digitisation as:
• Decent hardware (e.g. replacement of old laptops)
• Adequate networks (powered by full fibre and 5G)
• Integrated systems that allow flexibility in managing clinical and operational workflows

The briefing is available from NHS Providers

Have your say on the Tech Plan for health and care (NHS Join the conversation)

Dementia: Cancer scanner ‘could help early diagnoses’

BBC News | 22 February 2020 | Dementia: Cancer scanner ‘could help early diagnoses’

A cancer scanner could be used to identify some of the earliest and most difficult to diagnose forms of dementia, scientists have said.

Doctors at University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff said its PET scanner could show signs of the condition in people who are not showing symptoms.

About 47% of people in Wales living with dementia do not have a diagnosis.

The Welsh Government said it is investing £10m a year in its dementia action plan (Source: BBC News).

The full story is available from BBC News 


AI could help breast screening save more lives

Cancer Research UK |February 2020 |AI could help breast screening save more lives

A new blog post from Cancer Research UK (CRUK)details how artificial intelligence (AI) could help to save more lives in the identification of breast cancer. In collaboration with Google Health, the leading cancer charity, has led on research to develop artificial intelligence that not only has the potential to change the way we detect breast cancer but could also save the NHS time and money.  Scientists from these organisation have created a database that contains more than 2000 mammograms (anonymised). The data can be used by academics and commercial partners to benefit patients (Source: Cancer Research UK



Full details about the screening project and how it came to be are available from CRUK 

See also:

Cancer Research UK Artificial intelligence could help breast screening save more lives

OnMedica Artificial intelligence could help breast screening save more lives

The benefits and challenges of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare

Health Education England has worked with the University of Manchester to develop a free online course that aims to explore the benefits and challenges of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare through real-world case studies in areas such as radiology and pathology.

The new five-week course, aimed at healthcare staff, reveals how AI is transforming healthcare in a variety of beneficial ways, from streamlining workflow processes to making more precise patient diagnoses.


 Topics include:

• Week 1: Motivating AI in Healthcare

• Week 2: What is Artificial Intelligence 

• Week 3: Data in Healthcare

• Week 4: Making it Work

• Week 5: Supporting and Skilling the Workforce

This online learning takes place remotely and can be completed at any time to suit the learner. Full detail at Health Education England