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Investments in health tech – this week’s Friday Five

UK still behind in cancer survival despite recent improvements

A major study published in Lancet Oncology has shown that cancer survival rates in the UK have improved markedly over recent decades but still lag behind those of other high-income countries.

The study looked at one-year and five-year survival rates of cancer patients in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK between 1995 and 2014.

While the survival rates of people diagnosed with cancer increased in all seven countries, the UK on the whole had the lowest survival rates.

Cancer Research UK said the UK could do better and called for more “investment in the NHS and the systems and innovations that support it”.

Read more on BBC News

Government invests £130 million to drive technology revolution in the NHS

The UK government has announced it will invest over £130 million for new technology to tackle life-changing diseases such as cancer, dementia and Parkinson’s.

The investment could help thousands of people with devastating diseases by improving treatment, diagnosis and care options.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, said; “We’ve got to bring NHS technology into the 21st century. I’ve seen for myself how better technology and diagnosis can save clinicians’ time so they can concentrate on care.”

Read more in the PharmaTimes.

HDR UK launches seven data hubs to boost biomedical research

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) has announced it will launch seven new data hubs in the next month which will accelerate research into debilitating diseases and help drive the discovery of new treatments.

Andrew Morris, director of HDR UK, said; “Creating these hubs will give researchers the opportunity to use data at scale to research the genetic, lifestyle and social factors behind many familiar common diseases and identify revealing data trends which may help with finding cures or treatments”.

The hubs are part of a four-year £37 million investment from the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.


One in four adults in England prescribed potentially addictive drugs last year

A report by Public Health England (PHE) has shown that almost 12 million adults in England were prescribed potentially addictive drugs last year.

Five classes of medicines, including anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants and opioid painkillers were reviewed in the report – all of which have been found to have addictive properties.

PHE said a helpline must be set up to help the millions of people who may be dependent on the drugs.

Read more in the Independent


Quote of the week

 Jonathan Kennedy, a lecturer in global health at Queen Mary University of London, said:

“History shows it will take more than technology and money to beat malaria”

Read more in his opinion piece in The Guardian.

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