KeepHealthCare.ORG – Supermarket breast cancer screening to be offered by NHS
One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, with 55,000 diagnoses a year.
The plans are part of NHS efforts to use space technology to modernise the health service.
Health officials this week met leaders of the UK Space Agency to discuss other initiatives, including the use of satellite tracking to monitor patients with common breathing problems – and alert them when changes in the climate mean they are at extra risk.
Officials said technology which was originally developed to explore the solar system could increasingly help NHS meet rising demand and help to prevent diseases.
Other initiatives to be piloted include the use of satellite broadband in rural areas so paramedics can access patient information and send vital details ahead to hospitals.
Prof Tony Young, NHS England’s national clinical director for innovation, said: “In the NHS’s 70th year we are using satellite technology to revolutionise breast cancer screening by beaming scans back to hospitals from mobile screening units next to shopping centres and speeding up diagnoses.”
Emily Gravestock, UK Space Agency head of applications, said: “Technology from space is already improving our daily lives, and health is no exception. The NHS breast screening vans are a great example of how Britain’s world-leading space industry has come up with an innovative solution to support vital public services.”
The NHS screening programme invites all women aged 50 to 70 to have a mammogram every three years. But latest figures show just 71 per cent of eligible women had a scan in 2017 – the lowest number in a decade.