May 17, 2020

Asthma pills as effective as inhalers

Accolate
asthma
asthma treatments
inhalers
Admin
2 min
Inhalers are tricky to use
Researchers are saying that a one-a-day pill is just as, if not more than effective at treating asthma than traditional inhalers. It is thought the new...

Researchers are saying that a one-a-day pill is just as, if not more than effective at treating asthma than traditional inhalers.

It is thought the new tablet could revolutionise asthma treatments, because people may prefer to take a tablet as many find inhalers difficult to use.

According to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine asthma sufferers had as much symptom relief after taking the tablets as they get from using an inhaler.

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Although the leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) tablets – known by their brand names of Singulair and Accolate – have been available for years, they are much less prescribed than inhalers.

A team of researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK tested 650 local patients aged 12 to 80 and found that 80 percent would be able to take the asthma pill instead of using an inhaler.

In the UK approximately 5.4 million people have asthma, and 1.1 million of those are children.

Dr Stanley Musgrave, co author of the report, said: “The tablet may provide an alternative that can be as effective as an inhaler.”

“What the study basically says to a doctor or nurse when working with a patient is that this is something they may want to consider as well as the standard therapies.”

He added: “The medication is available on the NHS, it's just been a lower or a second choice.”

Although previous studies have shown that inhalers outperformed the asthma tablets in randomized settings, experts say this most recent study is much more similar to a real-world setting. 

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Jun 18, 2021

Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool 

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NHS
skincancer
Cancer
2 min
Skin Analytics uses AI to detect skin cancer and will be deployed across the NHS to ease patient backlogs

An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system. 

NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion. 

Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making. 

In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog. 

Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening. 

DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.

Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges. 

"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”

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