AI has been all over the news recently – from artificially generated LinkedIn profile pictures to Homer Simpson’s rendition of Ace of Spades – but there are applications for AI being utilised that go far beyond asking ChatGPT to write an episode of Friends. AI technologies are rapidly being developed for diagnosis and treatment of a multitude of diseases in healthcare.
We spoke to Dr Gerald Lip, Clinical Director of Breast Screening at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, who is heading up the Gemini project – a study looking at the accuracy of AI’s ability to detect breast cancer in mammograms taken at breast screening to assist radiologists in the NHS.
What is the Gemini project?
The Gemini project is looking at how AI can help radiologists to detect small cancers on mammograms taken in breast screening. The images taken during screening appointments are read by two radiologists as normal, who decide based on their analysis whether the patient needs further investigation or can return to routine screening.
After this, the mammograms of the patients who were returned to routine screening are then anonymously uploaded to the AI software (Mia from Kheiron Technologies) for analysis. Mia then evaluates the images and highlights any areas which it thinks require a second opinion. All of the images earmarked by Mia are then reread by the Gemini team – the ultimate goal is to see if AI can detect extra cancers that would otherwise have been missed.
What is the triple helix approach?
The triple helix approach is a partnership between the industry, the academics and the NHS. We are working together to bring these innovations to fruition sooner by collaborating and supporting each other.
We have a few projects (listed on our innovation website) not just on AI but also on drones that can deliver medication and robot porters to carry bedsheets, towels and things around our hospitals (but we’re still using fax machines and pagers)!
How reliable have you found it to be?
We’ve found it to be generally good at picking up cancers almost matching human performance.
It can sometimes flag up some false positives, which is why it still needs a radiologist to interpret its results afterwards. It doesn’t know the patient’s history – it doesn’t know if you’re on HRT or your family history, so humans still remain key in the process.
Can it tell the difference between benign and malignant breast lesions?
Mia sends an opinion to call or not recall. Other software can circle an area of suspicion and give a score out of 100% for what it rates its malignancy as (100 being the most malignant, 0 being completely benign). Some technologies are using heatmaps to distinguish areas of higher and lower suspicion.
Some people might be a little sceptical of having their scans read by AI rather than a human – what would you say to those patients?
For the Gemini project obviously nothing changes in that respect as the scans are still being read by two radiologists. The use of AI is a good thing for patients because it is able to detect cancers that radiologists have missed – AI doesn’t get tired or hungry or have moody days – it is always working at its optimum level! Mia has already picked up extra cancers during the Gemini project that would otherwise have not been flagged, so that those women could undergo treatment while the cancers were in the early stages which dramatically improves outcomes.
The AI technologies used in these kinds of studies have also been shown to be detecting the higher grade cancers – those that grow more rapidly and are more likely to become invasive, which are absolutely vital to be detected early. A cancer under 15mm has a 95%+ survival rate.
How do you see AI like Mia being used in breast screening after the trial?
There is a trial call for a big project involving multiple centres and multiple AI technologies across the UK to see how it could be used in screening. The general opinion is that mammograms in the future could be read by one radiologist and then once by AI.
How do you see AI alleviating the workload of radiologists?
There is a huge shortage of radiologists in the UK which is projected to grow – in the modelling done as part of the Gemini project, outsourcing of scan reading would be hugely reduced and around 40% of the workforce costs could be saved. It would give radiologists more hands on time with patients in clinics and reduces the cognitive load which is directly related to stress levels, improving the life of the radiologist and allowing them to give the best possible care to their patients. A benefit for the radiologist is a benefit for the patient.
Other than potentially detecting missed cancers and improving the workload of the radiology workforce, are there any other benefits of AI being used in breast screening?
One key benefit is how it will improve turnaround times for patients’ results – if a radiologist reads the scan and then the AI immediately reads it, the wait time for results could go from 2 weeks to 3 days. This would mean less time for ladies anxiously awaiting their results, and the ability to start treatment earlier where necessary. Wait times for assessment for symptomatic patients could also be reduced as a result.
How easy would it be to implement in screening centres across the UK?
In Scotland we use a paperless reporting system so we are actually AI ready for as soon as we have the green light. In England, there are adaptations required for the NBSS (English Breast Screening System) which will take some time but it will likely be ready by the time the national trial starts.
How do you see this technology being used in the wider NHS?
First of all I think we need to gain the trust of radiologists – we need to look at whether it’s worth it, what the health economics are, but there is obviously a workforce shortage which AI can hugely impact in a positive way. Increasing quality of diagnosis in multiple fields is something that could be beneficial across the board – while we think we’re excellent as humans, we do make mistakes. Having a second tool will only help us and make everyone safer. It can only improve the quality of care.
Yorkshire Day, an annual celebration of all things Yorkshire, is a cherished occasion that brings together residents, businesses, and communities in a joyful display of regional pride. As an SME based in the vibrant city of Sheffield, we are thrilled to join the festivities and honour our roots in this remarkable county. On 1st August we embrace the spirit of Yorkshire Day and showcase our love for Sheffield, highlighting the unique qualities that make our SME a true testament to the city's innovation, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit!
As an SME nestled in the heart of Sheffield, we embody the values that Yorkshire is renowned for. Our hardworking team takes pride in the honesty, integrity, and dedication that are ingrained in the local ethos. Just as the people of Yorkshire are known for their friendly nature and welcoming spirit, we strive to create a warm and inclusive environment for our employees, and customers.
Sheffield, known as the "Steel City," has a rich industrial heritage that continues to shape its identity today. Our SME is proud to be part of this heritage and contribute to the city's thriving business ecosystem. We embrace the city's drive for progress, using cutting-edge technologies and forward-thinking strategies to stay at the forefront of our industry.
SMEs are the backbone of local economies, and as a Sheffield-based company, we recognise our responsibility to uplift and support the communities around us. We actively engage in various corporate social responsibility initiatives, partnering with local charities and organisations to make a positive difference. By investing in the growth and development of Sheffield, we contribute to the prosperity and well-being of the entire region.
Sheffield is brimming with talent across various sectors, from manufacturing and engineering to arts and culture. As an SME, we are fortunate to tap into this vast pool of skilled individuals who call Sheffield home. Our company thrives on the creativity, expertise, and innovative ideas that stem from this remarkable talent base. By nurturing and promoting local talent, we help build a strong and prosperous future for Sheffield and our business.
Sheffield has long been recognised as a hub of innovation and creativity, and the medical sector is no exception. Our city boasts a rich history of ground-breaking medical discoveries and pioneering research. From Sir Hans Krebs' Nobel Prize-winning work on the citric acid cycle to Sir Paul Nurse's remarkable contributions to understanding the cell cycle, Sheffield has consistently produced trailblazing scientists who have left an indelible mark on the world of medicine. Yorkshire Day is a great opportunity to remember these achievements in our field!
SMEs in Sheffield form a tightly knit community, characterised by collaboration and mutual support. We are proud to be part of this network, working alongside fellow small businesses to foster growth and create opportunities. By forging partnerships and synergies, we contribute to the collective success of Sheffield's SME ecosystem, ensuring its continued growth and resilience.
On this Yorkshire Day, we celebrate the rich heritage and vibrant spirit of Yorkshire, particularly the city that has nurtured and supported our SME—Sheffield. We embrace the values that make Yorkshire special, channelling them into our work, and strive to make a positive impact on our local community. As we join the festivities, we stand tall as a Sheffield-based SME, proud to contribute to the city's innovation, resilience, and prosperity. Happy Yorkshire Day to all!
Plastic Free July is a global movement that encourages individuals, communities, and businesses to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics and make more sustainable choices.
In the UK, this initiative holds immense significance as the nation strives to combat plastic waste and its environmental impact.
Plastic waste poses a significant environmental challenge. According to the UK government, the country generates around 2.4 million tons of plastic waste annually, with only a fraction of that being recycled. This waste not only pollutes our land, rivers, and oceans but also harms wildlife and contributes to climate change.
Plastic Free July is driven by the alarming facts and figures related to plastic waste. Here are a few statistics highlighting the issue in the UK:
Plastic Free July empowers individuals to take action against the plastic waste crisis. By adopting simple lifestyle changes and embracing sustainable alternatives, we can all reduce our reliance on single-use plastics and make a positive impact on the environment. These figures above surrounding plastic waste serve as a wake-up call, urging us to be more conscious of our consumption habits.
Here at It’s Interventional we have fully embraced the challenge of Plastic Free July, by asking our team to give up some single use plastic items for the month of July and beyond.
Some have opted to give up buying milk in plastic bottles, or plastic wrapped fruit and veg, cling film and even plastic sandwich bags.
We are passionate about the environment and want to do everything we can to look after our planet. We are proud of our ISO accreditation (ISO: 14001:2015) which helps to keep us focussed on our environmental policy and impact. Plastic Free July is a great opportunity to look at ways we can reduce our plastic use as individuals and focus on our company approach. We already do a lot of good stuff and will seek to find other ways to reduce our plastic consumption.
Our packaging is made from 100% recycled materials, including the biodegradable bubble wrap and brown paper we use to protect our products when they are being delivered. We provide staff with a water cooler to eliminate the need for single-use plastic bottles. We recycle all our recyclable waste and provide recycling bins throughout our office. Wherever we can we avoid using plastics and seek out sustainable alternatives and encourage our team to do the same.
We’d love to hear any other ideas you might have to help us use less plastic! Why not email us at email@example.com
Our charity car wash is back for 2023 on Wednesday 5th July to mark the 75th birthday of the NHS. We’ll be digging out our buckets and sponges, ready to get our hands dirty making your cars sparkling, all in aid of Weston Park Cancer Charity. The car wash runs around the outside of our building on Lydgate Lane. You’ll be able to pull in and drive around the stations, from wheel brushing & jet washing to shammy leather drying. Your car is sure to come out looking shiny and clean!
You’ll also be able to treat yourself to homemade cakes and savoury snacks, along with hot and cold drinks with all proceeds going to Weston Park.
Last year our charity car wash raised over £1400 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity, it was a fantastic day and all our staff worked really hard washing cars, selling cakes and tombola tickets, well done team! We’re gearing up to do it all again, and we’re hoping to raise even more money this year and smash our total from last year!
This year we’re excited to announce that along with our charity car wash, we’ll also be raising money through our tombola to fund a defibrillator for the local community. We feel this is a fantastic cause that will be of great benefit to our local area. We’ll have some amazing prizes up for grabs on the day, so come along and have a go!
We've had some lovely prizes donated to our tombola from local businesses, we can't wait to see how much money we can raise on the day to fund a defibrillator for our local community. Here's a run down of the prizes available:
Watch this space and we will update it with prizes from our wonderfully generous fellow Sheffield businesses! If you'd like to donate a prize to this fantastic cause please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK? Sadly, fewer than one in 10 people survive this. Immediate CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chances of survival. Having a defibrillator close by is important, that’s why we are working to raise money to provide one in for our local community.
Wednesday 5th July 2023 is the 75th Birthday of the NHS, so we have chosen to host our charity car wash on this date to mark this historic occasion and raise money for our local cancer charity Weston Park.
The NHS was founded in 1948, the first universal health system available to everyone, free at the point of delivery. Many notable events have taken place during the 75 years of the NHS, including:
“Weston Park Cancer Charity is here to face cancer with you. Our services, advice, therapies and support are for you and the people close to you, helping everyone to live with and beyond cancer.
The funds we raise also support vital, pioneering research and clinical trials led by the exceptional medical experts at Weston Park Cancer Centre.
It’s our job to care in every sense for our patients and their families. Our help is free, and we’re here for you, together at every step.”
Weston Park Cancer Charity is just a few minutes walk from our office in Sheffield. We love to support local charities, and this one is close to a lot of our team’s hearts. We are hoping to raise as much money for them as we can through our charity car wash and bake sale.
Our charity car wash 2023 and defibrillator fundraiser tombola will take place at our office Albreda House, on Lydgate Lane in Sheffield, S10 5FH on Wednesday 5th July. Come along and join in the fun!
World Bee Day takes place on the 20th May to honour the birthday of Anton Janša, the pioneer of beekeeping in the 18th century. The day aims to raise awareness on the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.
We all depend on the survival of bees. Pollinators, such as bees and other creatures (butterflies, wasps, spiders, bats and many more) are increasingly under threat from human activities, loss of habitat and climate change. Pollination is a fundamental part of our eco-system, with almost 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species, 75% of the world’s food crops and 35% of global agricultural land depending almost entirely on animal pollination*. Three out of four crops across the globe producing fruits, or seeds for use as human food depend, at least in part, on bees and other pollinators*. We all depend on pollinators for food, so ensuring their survival is paramount.
Bees and other pollinators are under threat, with close to 35%, particularly bees and butterflies, facing extinction globally. 35 bee species are under threat of extinction in the UK alone, with 13 species already being lost. Since the second world war, we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows, leaving bees with very little natural habitat. A world without bees could struggle to sustain a food chain for the population of almost 8 billion people.
With bees in decline, what can we do to help? Well, there are many things we can all do to help bees and encourage more pollinators into your garden. The best way is by providing nectar and pollen rich flowers throughout the year, giving them food. For this year’s World Bee Day, why not try some of the following:
Having plants that flower throughout the year in your garden will provide food for pollinators all year round, not just for World Bee Day. Some great plants that flower in spring are Primrose, Sweet Rocket and Aubretia. Summer flowering plants include Lavender, Honeysuckle and Yarrow. There are many plants that flower in Autumn, including, Ivy, Hyssop and Michaelmas Daisies.
We love bees, they are part of who we are here at It’s Interventional. We have 2 beehives at our office in Sheffield, each housing thousands of bees. A local beekeeper maintains our hives, so we asked him a few questions to mark World Bee Day:
Celebrated on 22nd April, during Earth Month, Earth Day was first established in 1970 and sparked the modern environmental movement. This annual event aims to raise awareness about climate issues and inspire appreciation for our environment.
Earth Day 2023 has a theme of ‘Invest In Our Planet’, encouraging us to get inspired, take action and to be a part of the green revolution.
“For Earth Day 2023, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly) and implement (equitably). Business, governments and citizens – everyone accounted for and everyone accountable. A partnership for the plant.”
A report in March 2023 from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has some stark warnings about climate change, making Earth Day more important than ever. The report details how more than a century of burning fossil fuels as well as unequal and unsustainable energy and land use has led to global warming of 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“Human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming, with global surface temperature reaching 1.1°C above 1850–1900 in 2011–2020. Global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase, with unequal historical and ongoing contributions arising from unsustainable energy use, land use and land-use change, lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production across regions, between and within countries, and among individuals (high confidence).”
AR6 Synthesis Report
Climate Change 2023
The report does also go on to explain that if we act now, we can still secure a sustainable future, but swift action is needed. The report states “Emissions should be decreasing by now and will need to be cut by almost half by 2030 if warming is to be limited to 1.5 degrees."
As a business we feel that we have a huge role to play in the protection of our planet, not only us as a business, but all of our employees too. A statement that really stood out to us in the climate change press release was:
“Climate, ecosystems and society are all interconnected.”
Our environment is important to us all and we take a lot of steps to do our part not just on Earth Day, but every day. We are extremely proud to be ISO 14001:2015 accredited, which means that our environmental activities and objectives are audited.
ISO 14001:2015 is a set of standards put forward by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). This policy specifies the requirements for an environmental management system (EMS) that an organisation can use to enhance its environmental performance.
We are very proud to say we have held this accreditation for over 10 years now and base a lot of our company activities around it. This policy covers many things within our business, including our energy usage, waste management and carbon footprint.
Did you know that only 17,378* companies in the UK have ISO 14001?
We’re proud to be one of them, especially as we are a small business. With just 30 employees in our organisation, we think we’re among the smallest businesses in the UK to hold this accreditation. We are also one of the very few organisations in our sector to hold the ISO standard.
* ISO-CASCO_1.ISO Survey 2021
As a business, we do lots of things to minimise our carbon footprint and we have developed an action plan as part of our ISO accreditation to define our priorities and set objectives we can measure. We are on target to be carbon neutral by 2050 and we’re already working on reducing our carbon footprint. For us this is an all year round part of who we are, not just for Earth Day.
Some of the things we do as a company include:
We aim to be a leading environmentally responsible company and have a positive impact on our local community and environment. We’re also on a mission to help to rewild the UK by planting wildflower meadows to support bees and other pollinators. We’re looking to work with other businesses in our local community to plant as many square metres as possible of wildflowers. It’s a big challenge, but we’re working hard on it, so watch this space for more updates in the near future…
There are many small changes you can make to your everyday life that can have a big impact on the environment, not just for Earth Day. Here are some examples:
Do you have other ideas? We’d love to hear them! You can contact us at email@example.com
It’s been a whole year since we said goodbye to UK Medical and became It’s Interventional. As UK Medical, we had a long history in the Interventional Radiology space, but we needed to evolve and grow, and our name change was part of that. Our product portfolio has expanded, but our core values and ethos remain the same. We’re still an independent SME with a passionate team of people who put the patient at the heart of everything we do.
The last 12 months have been challenging as they have been for so many businesses and people. As a small company we have faced increasing cost pressures, uncertainty, and some curveballs as well, but as a Sheffield company we like to think we have a bit of steel! As ever, we remain true to our mission to bring innovative and pathway changing devices with a personalised service level that only an SME can offer! We know that the next 12 months is likely to be difficult, but we are up for the challenge!
“We’d like to thank all of our customers for their support, not just this year, but every year we have worked together since our launch way back in the 1980’s. We appreciate the difficulties facing you now more than ever and we are here to help, so thank you.”
Ian Aaron, Managing Director, It’s Interventional Ltd
Microcalcifcation in breast tissue is a common finding during routine breast screening. On average approximately 2 out of 3 patients who are recalled for biopsy for an area of suspicious calcium have benign pathological findings, however 1 out of 3 patients will receive results which may require further intervention such as additional biopsy, vacuum assisted excision, or surgery*. The latter often requires the patient to undergo a localisation procedure prior to surgery to guide the surgeon to the non-palpable area.
New localisation technologies have afforded clinical teams more freedom to schedule patients for localisation and relieve pressure on busy assessment clinics. Microcalcifications are typically sonographically occult and on occasion may have been completely removed by the initial biopsy, making the placement of a breast marker clip important.
Breast marker clip sonographic visibility varies between suppliers. Poor ultrasound visibility can be exaggerated in deep lesions and dense breast tissue. As a result, many patients are required to undergo a localisation procedure using mammography equipment. There are numerous disadvantages to this approach for both the clinician and the patient, including comfort, additional exposure to radiation, procedure duration and risk of experiencing seed migration due to the “accordion effect”.
HydroMARK™ Breast Biopsy Site Markers offer unmatched U/S visibility* and are one of the most widely used marker clips in the UK.
We conducted a research survey, where 50 HydroMARK™Breast Biopsy Site Marker end users provided feedback to determine whether the ultrasound visibility of HydroMARK™ influences their localisation technique post biopsy of suspicious microcalifcation.
We asked clinicians who use HydroMARK™ Breast Biopsy Site Markers to give their insight in to numerous clinical scenarios, including situations around complete calcium removal following biopsy / excision, clip positioning, typical procedure time etc.
If you would like to know more, see the results of the survey or discuss this topic further, please get in touch with us.
We will be hosting a Charity Car Wash on Tuesday 14th June in aid of Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity. The event will be held at our office car park on Lydgate Lane (S10 5FH), where our staff will be washing cars, but also selling hot drinks, snacks and cakes, as well as a tombola with amazing prizes from many local businesses – all in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.
The charity car wash will be set up around the perimeter of the It’s Interventional car park on Lydgate Lane, with stations for wheel washing, pre-wash, jet washing, shampoo and drying, so your car is sure to be sparkling at the end of its car spa treatment!
The charity tombola will have some fantastic prizes from some wonderfully generous local businesses, including:
We'll be updating this as we get more prizes, so please check back soon!
We'd like to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful local businesses who have donated prizes for our tombola!
Our team will be baking some homemade delights, including cakes, brownies and muffins, and there will also be tea & coffee and some savoury snacks to purchase too.
Children come from all over the country for treatment at Sheffield Children’s and The Children’s Hospital Charity work hard to make it better. The money raised through donations buys life-saving equipment, funds vital research and treatment for thousands of children from across the world and helps to create a comfortable, engaging environment for the patients.
Sheffield Children’s is now just one of three specialist children’s hospitals in the UK, alongside Great Ormond Street and Alder Hey in Liverpool. All of the money raised will help to change children’s lives from across the country and worldwide.
“We have held charity car washes a few times now and they are always a fantastic way to raise money for charity. This year we have chosen to support The Children’s Hospital Charity, they are local to us here in Sheffield and we like to support the excellent work they do whenever we can.
This year we’re hoping to break our fundraising record, so please come along and get your car washed and enjoy some treats too, it’s all for a good cause!”
Ian Aaron, Managing Director, It’s Interventional
Please note this is a cash only event, so please bring some with you – thank you.