Roundup: Italy uncovers fake EU COVID pass schemes, NHS COVID app sensitivity to be reduced and more briefs | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


Amid the EU launching a digital COVID-19 certificate last month, Italian police have said they have broken up a number of online schemes offering to sell fake European digital COVID-19 status certificates.

The cybercrime prosecutor team in Milan led the investigation, which showed that thousands of people were ready to pay for false certificates.

The prosecutor office uncovered the scheme using two AI-powered tools that allowed them to monitor the so-called dark web in real time and then interact as potential customers.


New AI lung cancer prediction software, Virtual Nodule Clinic (VNC), developed by Optellum, has received a major government funding boost.

The software will be used as part of the DOLCE research project, which is supported by the NHS AI Lab’s £140 million AI in Health and Care Award.

The project aims to show how much faster a cancer diagnosis is confirmed by VNC through CT scans, PET scans and biopsies.

The team at Optellum, along with Professor David Baldwin, who is leading the DOLCE project, will work with 10 NHS hospitals to deploy the software for clinical evaluation.


Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN)’s has selected three companies for its inaugural green accelerator programme.

The three selected companies are, 3D printer for healthcare products, Automedi, digital personal health record platform, Patients Know Best (PKB) and digital integrated care platform, Dignio. 

Each of the companies have a focus on creating sustainable innovations that will support the NHS’ commitment to net zero emissions by 2040.

Frank Swinton, climate change lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, said: “Climate change and health are intricately linked in that they both affect one another in a circular fashion. It is therefore imperative that we work to break the cycle and ensure that our health and social care services are as environmentally friendly as possible going forwards.

“This scheme is a great way to help innovators bring their green med solutions closer to being everyday tech that is used across the sector.”


Data technology provider InterSystems has announced the launch of the latest version of its TrakCare unified healthcare information system, T2021.

Dedicated to helping customers solve scalability, interoperability and speed problems, this version of TrakCare includes new features inspired by the rapid response of healthcare organisations to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest TrakCare update responds to the increasing demand for telehealth and virtual care with the introduction of integration with InterSystems HealthShare Personal Community, a cross-EMR patient portal. This integration enables outpatient bookings and the synchronisation of third-party app data integrated into patient records.

The company has also developed a new and more agile approach to software updates that helps healthcare professionals and patients benefit from the latest functionalities.


UK-based online sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing service, Preventx has begun an expansion into Europe, starting with acquisitions in Spain and the Netherlands which will completed on the 21 June.

Preventx allows people across the UK to order a self-sampling STI kit online to discreetly manage their sexual health online.

The acquisition of the Spanish STI clinic, Open House, and Dutch leader, Soapoli Online (SPO) is the beginning of plans to build both a Southern and Northern Europe hub, making testing more easily accessible in the regions. 

CEO of Preventx, Ruth Poole, said: “The UK is leading the world in normalising online testing as a part of life for sexually active people. These important acquisitions will position Preventx to become the European leader in sexual health, enabling millions more people to access reliable and accessible sexual health services.

“The Netherlands has some of the highest usage of digital health in the world, and in SPO we inherit a strong business and leadership team who will ensure we can springboard into the sexual health market there.

“With Open House’s strong reputation, experienced medical team and laboratory this will enable us to reach people in Spain who experience increasingly high rates of STIs. They will benefit significantly from a rapid growth in digital sexual health services.” 


Scottish health and care professionals including NHS Scotland health boards are being given access to an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status through the Orion Health shared care record.  

A project commissioned by the Scottish Government is enabling the COVID-19 vaccine information held in the National Clinical Data Store (NCDS) to be displayed in a tab in the shared care record.

Health and care professionals from four health boards in the North of Scotland, which use a regional ‘Care Portal’, and from NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Fife can find out whether a patient has been vaccinated.

Iain Ross, the head of eHealth at NHS Highland, said: “This has been a really good example of collaboration to improve support for patients.

“The Shared Care Record is simple to access and simple to use, but that simplicity marks many days of hard work by many people from different parts of NHS Scotland, who worked together to deliver this functionality.”


The sensitivity of the NHS COVID-19 tracing app is to be reduced amid a significant rise in alerts as infections surge.

In light of England ending the 1m-plus rule on 19 July, UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps said: “As our restrictions change, the NHS app needs to change in line.”

The contact tracing app detects the distance between users and the length of time spent in close proximity, which is currently set to 2m or less and more than 15 minutes.

Whitehall officials are now considering changes to the app, including how long and how close someone has to be to another app user to be considered a coronavirus risk.  


Digital Health and Care Wales has awarded a two-year contract to Better for a clinical data repository that will aim to transform care and treatment for patients.

Using an open-platform approach, patient records can now be shared between clinical systems through common standards, supporting more specialised treatments and facilitating critical research.

Following an 18-month review process, the Better Platform was selected for persistence of structured clinical data, which will support DHCW’s Phase 1 open platform-based approach, accelerating standardisation of clinical data to support the deployment of new services.

Examples of which include the National Cancer Programme, Shared Medications Repository and Welsh Adverse Reactions Service.


UK-based Liverpool Women’s NHS FT has run a successful proof of concept to boost its network against hackers using the latest in software defined segmentation.

Liverpool Women’s, which is the only specialist trust in the country for women and babies, is now deploying the Guardicore Centra Security Platform across servers running legacy operating systems, with the support of cybersecurity experts from Gemserv Health.

Matt Connor, chief information officer at Liverpool Women’s and cybersecurity workstream lead for Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership (HCP), said: “The WannaCry cyber-attack in 2017 severely disrupted health care services and exposed the need for additional cybersecurity investment to enable a strength in depth approach.

“As a Cyber Essentials Plus accredited organisation, cybersecurity is important and we strive to maintain that standard. We have some residual legacy systems, and placing robust security controls around them is essential. We had been working with Gemserv Health on a number of cybersecurity initiatives, so when they suggested the Guardicore product to provide application level segmentation, we agreed to run the proof of concept.”


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