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How software can be used to improve the home care industry

Voice Of EU



CareLineLive’s Dec Norton discusses how management software tools can be used to improve the lives of home care workers and their patients.

Beyond the world of 3D printing and cutting-edge medical research, the frontline of healthcare can also be improved with automation and software systems.

Dec Norton is director of development at CareLineLive, a UK-based tech company that provides cloud-based home care management software.

Norton’s role is to ensure the company’s product is addressing the needs of its customers while also pushing innovation.

“Home care agencies and their carers require tools that empower them to do their jobs more efficiently and make the day-to-day tasks easier. Ultimately, our goal is to allow carers more time to look after their vulnerable clients,” he told

“CareLineLive was in part born from an acknowledgement that for agencies and carers alike, rostering was a big part of their roles. A process that was traditionally paper based was inflexible and didn’t allow for last-minute changes.

“We created a platform that places rostering at the centre of our solution, offering care workers and admin staff access to an online rostering tool that would alert carers to any last-minute changes and one that did not require them to make constant journeys back-and-forth to the office.”

‘The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the update and appetite for technology’

Are you spearheading any major product or IT initiatives you can tell us about?

In the summer we announced new features that provide vital insights on client wellbeing, as well as helping carers be more proactive with their interventions. We have also been actively extending and improving our suite of care planning tools, to help carers across all aspects of their role.

These new capabilities allow carers to easily record observations on their clients’ physical and mental welfare (for example, meals, fluid intake, blood pressure and glucose readings), meaning that carers can monitor their clients’ health effectively.

On top of this, carers can take images to log potential issues, as well as providing agencies with the ability to follow the correct procedures and to record any incidents, giving other stakeholders comprehensive information about any concerns reported.

Agencies and carers also have access to improved data insights from observations taken with the CareLineLive Carer Companion App. This will allow agencies to understand trends and foresee potential problems before they arise. Not only will this provide better person-centred care for clients, but it also will help to ease the burden on the NHS, with fewer older and vulnerable people needing to be hospitalised in emergency circumstances.

On top of this, offering document management to carers and administrators provides an automated process that saves time and allows exceptional care to continue. Automating rostering, payroll and medication records means that carers do not have to waste time with in-person contact updates and allows them to understand their workload and whether or not they have capacity to help with other clients.

Offering e-signatures and ensuring carers are reimbursed correctly all via one system is equally important and allows carers to concentrate fully on the job in hand.

How big is your team?

We’ve recently hired our 20th employee – after starting with a team of three at CareLineLive’s inception at the end of 2017. Our tech team is relatively small compared to some of the other players in the space, but I feel that keeping a small tight-knit team allows us to remain nimble when addressing the needs of our customers.

Outsourcing isn’t something we regularly entertain. It’s important to us that everyone that contributes to the platform has a good understanding of the context in which they’re building and has an opportunity to build relationships within the team.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation?

Although it’s been a difficult time in so many ways, I think the digital transformation we have seen in the past two years has been fantastic. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the update and appetite for technology, particularly when it comes to care management software, and I think we are at the beginning of a really positive journey.

The home care industry will gain more and more insight that will ultimately help clients, but also have positive effects on helping the NHS deal with pressures brought on by the pandemic and other seasonal illness.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and your industry specifically?

There are two big tech trends that stand out to me. The first is artificial intelligence and machine learning in enabling the interrogation of data. Before companies decided to automate and digitise this wasn’t available but with the volume of data now available, ensuring that it is both trustworthy and accurate is incredibly important. Being able to interrogate data makes processes more efficient.

Another tech trend that I believe has been transformative in recent years is the pervasiveness of wearable/IoT technologies. These have helped to address and recognise potential concerns in multiple areas. The data collected can offer health and care professionals useful and insightful information about patients, ultimately allowing those that care to offer the best care possible and ensuring that any subtle changes in a patient’s health are recognised and recorded.

In terms of security, what are your thoughts on how we can better protect data?

CareLineLive takes the security and privacy of its customers’ data very seriously. We are ISO 27001 and NHS DSP toolkit compliant, Cyber Essentials certified, and Homecare Association registered. People are at the heart of home care and for this reason we take the privacy of our users very seriously.

The CareLineLive system includes enhanced features, such as biometric authentication and device encryption to ensure that the Carer Companion Mobile app is as secure as possible. Equally, mobile device-managed smartphone handsets make sure that the devices can be remotely wiped and the app can be locked remotely if a handset is lost or stolen.

On top of this, the location of carers is monitored only for the instance when they’re either arriving or departing a care visit. The data of CareLineLive’s customers is GDPR compliant and all data is encrypted in transit and at rest, protecting against interception and unauthorised access. Penetration tests are run regularly to ensure that server hardware is secure and a full audit history is kept for actions performed in the software.

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AI laser probe for prostate cancer enters clinical trials • The Register

Voice Of EU



AI software capable of mapping tumor tissue more accurately to help surgeons treat and shrink prostate cancer using a laser-powered needle will soon be tested in real patients during clinical trials.

The National Cancer Institute estimated that approximately 12.6 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. The risk for developing the disease rises over time for men over the age of 50. It’s one of the most curable forms of cancer, considering most cases are caught in the early stages due to regular screening tests.

Treatment for prostate cancer varies depending on the severity of the disease. Patients can undergo hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery to remove tissue. Avenda Health, a medical startup founded in 2017, is developing a new type of treatment that is less invasive. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an investigational device exemption (IDE) to the company’s invention this week, meaning it can now be used in a clinical study. 

Patients will need to have an MRI scan and a targeted fusion biopsy performed first. The data is processed by Avenda’s AI algorithms in its iQuest software to map where the cancerous cells are located within the prostate. Next, the computer vision-aided model will simulate where best to insert FocalPoint, a probe armed with a laser, to help surgeons treat the patient’s tumor. The heat from the laser gently heats the cancerous cells and kills them with goal of shrinking and removing the whole tumor.


MRI images where cancer is mapped using iQuest software before and after treatment. Image Credit: Avenda Health

“Historically, prostate cancer treatments of surgery or radiation impacts critical structures like the urethra and nerves which control sexual and urinary function,” Avenda’s CEO and co-founder Shyam Natarajan told The Register. “Our focal laser ablation system, FocalPoint, which is powered by our AI-driven cancer margin software, iQuest, specifically targets tumor tissue and avoids healthy tissue. This means patients no longer lose control over these functions that are so common with traditional treatments, so quality of life is significantly improved.”

The treatment is only effective for men diagnosed with intermediate risk of prostate cancer, a classification that describes tumors being confined within the prostate only. Patients are considered high risk in cases where the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. 

“This is one of the benefits of the iQuest software. Not only can it map the cancer, but it also provides decision support for the physician as they determine the best course of treatment for an individual patient. Not every patient is going to be eligible for focal therapy, and it is important for the physician to distinguish between good focal therapy candidates and not.  iQuest provides useful insights for that decision making process,”  Natarajan said.

Avenda received FDA clearance for its FocalPoint device in 2020. The IDE approval brings the company one step closer to bringing their product to market after clinical trial testing, Brittany Berry-Pusey, co-founder and COO of Avenda, said in a statement. 

“This clinical trial will play a key role in advancing our breakthrough technology to improve prostate cancer care. With no new FDA approvals for the treatment of localized prostate cancer in more than four decades, we look forward to working alongside our clinical sites to collect the data necessary to bring iQuest and FocalPoint to market and into the patient care environment.”

Natarajan told us the company was aiming to begin clinical trials in 2023. ®

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US offers $10m reward for info on five Conti ransomware members

Voice Of EU



Rewards for Justice shared a photo of someone it claims to be an associate of the ransomware gang and is offering a reward to identify him and four others.

The US Department of State is offering a $10m reward for any information on five malicious cyber actors who are believed to be high-ranking members of the Conti ransomware gang.

The US has been offering rewards for information on this ransomware gang since May, including a $5m reward for any intel that leads to the arrest of anyone conspiring or attempting to participate in a Conti attack.

Yesterday (11 August), the department’s Rewards for Justice programme shared an alleged photo of an associate of the ransomware gang. The department said on Twitter that it is “trying to put a name to the face” and believes the individual is the hacker known as “Target”.

Illustration showing an image of a man with four figures next to it. A reward offer for information on the Conti ransomware gang.

A request for information by the Rewards for Justice programme. Image: US Department of State/Rewards for Justice

Conti, also known as Wizard Spider, has been linked to a group believed to be based near St Petersburg, Russia. The US has labelled it a “Russian government-linked ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) group”.

The group’s malware is believed to be responsible for more than 1,000 ransomware operations targeting critical infrastructure around the world, from law enforcement agencies to emergency medical services and dispatch centres.

In May 2021, the Conti group was behind the HSE ransomware incident that saw more than 80pc of the IT infrastructure of healthcare services across Ireland impacted. It was said to be the most serious cyberattack ever to hit the State’s critical infrastructure.

The US Department of State previously said the Conti ransomware variant is the “costliest strain of ransomware” ever documented. The FBI estimates that, as of January 2022, there had been more than 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware, with victim payouts exceeding $150m.

When Russia began its invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, the Conti group declared its allegiance to the Russian government. Shortly after, a Ukrainian researcher took the cybersecurity world by storm after publishing more than 60,000 internal messages of the ransomware gang.

Raj Samani, chief scientist at cybersecurity firm Rapid7, said the latest reward offer is just “the tip of the iceberg as enforcement agencies make “considerable strides” through public-private collaboration to hold cybercriminals to account.

“Announcing a reward and revealing the details of Conti members sends a message to would-be criminals that cybercrime is anything but risk-free,” said Samani.

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Meditation app Calm sacks one-fifth of staff | Meditation

Voice Of EU



The US-based meditation app Calm has laid off 20% of its workforce, becoming the latest US tech startup to announce job cuts.

The firm’s boss, David Ko, said the company, which has now axed about 90 people from its 400-person staff, was “not immune” to the economic climate. “In building out our strategic and financial plan, we revisited the investment thesis behind every project and it became clear that we need to make changes,” he said in a memo to staff.

“I can assure you that this was not an easy decision, but it is especially difficult for a company like ours whose mission is focused on workplace mental health and wellness.”

The Calm app, founded in 2012, offers guided meditation and bedtime stories for people of all ages. It received a surge of downloads triggered by the 2020 Covid lockdowns. By the end of that year, the software company said the app had been downloaded more than 100 million times globally and had amassed over 4 million paying subscribers.

Investors valued the firm, which said it had been profitable since 2016, at $2bn.

In the memo, Ko went on: “We did not come to this decision lightly, but are confident that these changes will help us prioritize the future, focus on growth and become a more efficient organization.”

More than 500 startups have laid off staff this year, according to, a website that tracks such announcements.

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