Policeman blinded by Raoul Moat to test eyesight device
PC David Rathband, the policeman who was blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, is to take part in the trials of a revolutionary new piece of equipment which could help those who have lost their sight to see again.
It was in July 2010 that Rathband became the victim of Moat’s shooting spree, suffering gunshot wounds to his face and shoulder – injuries which meant he lost both of his eyes.
He is now vying to test a new device known as BrainPort.
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The pioneering BrainPort technology was developed in the US and reportedly works by converting images which are recorded on a video camera into electrode pulses on the tongue.
The electrode pulses will differ depending on the levels of light and darkness contained in the object or area being looked at.
It is then hoped the user will be able to associate the pulsing sensation of the electrodes with the shape and outline of images.
Developers of the BrainPort device have already offered David the opportunity to partake in its patient-based trails, but his participation requires a fee of £16,000 which his family are in the process of collecting.
A website collecting the donations has been set up by his 19-year-old son and so far just over £1,800 has been collected online.
While speaking to British newspaper the Daily Mail, Rathband said: “I'd love to be able to see some shadows or a bit of light.
“Anything is better than nothing,” he added.
“It keeps me going as a bit of hope, but I'm careful not to put all my eggs in that basket.
He continued: “I've gone from a man who did things when I wanted to, to a man who has to depend on others to do things with me and for me.”
To enable David Rathband to take part in the BrainPort trail,donations are being accepted online at http://www.davidrathband.co.uk/brainport.html.
BrainPort device in action:
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Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
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.”