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Nicole Kobie

Journalist

London

Nicole Kobie

Freelance journalist covering tech, transport and science
Contributing editor to Wired UK and Futures editor at PC Pro.
Bylines in New Scientist, Motherboard, the Guardian, Teen Vogue, WebUser, Computer Shopper, Computer Active, Grazia, Big Issue, the Outline, IT Pro, Alphr and more.

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The NHS has a plan for taking on anti-vaxxers: ignore them

Anti-vaxxers abound on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, spewing misinformation about immunisation. Faced with falling vaccination rates, health authorities are fighting back. Their weapon of choice? The humble hashtag. Last month Public Health England (PHE) – a government agency that promotes wellbeing in the UK – ran a social media campaign under #ValueofVaccines while UNICEF went with #VaccinesWork.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Major concerns are being raised about Babylon's impact on the NHS

A controversial London-based healthcare startup shouldn’t be allowed to expand its digital GP business across the UK until its impact on the NHS is fully understood, a Labour MP has said. Andy Slaughter, the MP for Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush, has called for an urgent inquiry into the services run by Babylon Health.
Wired UK Link to Story
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The messy, cautionary tale of how Babylon disrupted the NHS

Babylon was meant to make healthcare easier. For some in the NHS, it has done anything but. Now, as the London-based startup prepares to expand outside of the capital, a number of GPs and officials are expressing concerns about the strain the firm is putting on the health service. To date, the presence of Babylon’s GP surgery in London has forced the NHS to reallocate millions of pounds in funding to mitigate for the disruption it has caused.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Matt Hancock's plan to purge NHS pagers is pretty dumb. Here's why

Health Secretary Matt Hancock wants to ban pagers from the NHS, calling the devices "archaic". The problem? They save lives. And, in this instance, old technology really does work. Just ask Simon Scott-Hayward. He's a GP who volunteers with a local ambulance service in Devon to reach patients in the rural area more quickly.
Wired UK Link to Story
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The promises and problems of period-tracking apps

Back in 2014, Apple released its health-tracking app, HealthKit, with a seemingly obvious omission – a way for women to track their periods. It felt like, yet again, women were being shut out of a developing technology, with no females in the room when the idea of digital health was discussed. Apple quickly rectified the situation and, a few years on, there's an increasing number of apps to choose from that are angled towards the rhythms of women’s bodies.
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The Emotional Burden of Being Hacked

Hacking victims experience anxiety, stress and depression, and get very little support. After hackers leaked naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence, the actress said it was a "sexual violation." At least two people outed in the infamous hack of adultery dating site Ashley Madison committed suicide. Hacking can have serious repercussions for mental health, and the companies involved know very little about how to deal with the aftermath, and sometimes make things worse by leaving victims in the dark.
Motherboard Link to Story
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Facebook's suicide alert tool isn't coming to the EU. Here's why

Facebook is scanning posts for suicidal ideation everywhere in the world — except Europe. But despite Facebook's claims we're too sensitive about privacy issues to accept site-wide scanning, there's plenty in our data laws that would allow automated alerts to protect social media users here, too. Everywhere else but here, Facebook will use a pattern-recognition system to watch for troubling comments in users posts and videos, such as "are you ok?"
Wired UK Link to Story
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The gig economy can learn from the NHS, not the other way round

The Uberification of the NHS is already happening — though whether gig economy jobs and platforms are the right route depends on how well startups and tech companies are willing to work within the NHS' huge and confusing systems and obey its tight regulations. Disruption doesn't work in healthcare.
Wired UK Link to Story
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A startup for NHS beds shows the dangers of following Silicon Valley

CareRoom, an Airbnb-style platform for post-surgery care, is not currently being trialled by the NHS — despite the many headlines screaming otherwise. The confusion is not only understandable, but evidence of potential for tension between the NHS and startups looking to trial their creations with its patients.
Wired UK Link to Story
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AI has no place in the NHS if patient privacy isn’t assured

Tech companies are asking to step into doctors' offices with us, and eavesdrop on all the symptoms and concerns we share with our GPs. While doctors and other medical staff are bound by confidentiality and ethics, we haven't yet figured out what it means when a digital third party — the apps and algorithms — are allowed in the room, too.
Wired UK Link to Story
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What can SMEs learn from efforts to transform healthcare?

eConsult is created by GPs, for GPs, says its founder, who adds that ‘real life’ trials before launching on the open market is key Credit: Anthony Devlin. No sector is having to innovate more swiftly than health services, which is a useful source of information on how – and how not – to enact change at pace.
The Telegraph Link to Story
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Can the NHS modernise without going broke?

The NHS has a rotten reputation when it comes to technology

About

Nicole Kobie

You may have seen my work at PC Pro, where I edit the Futures section, on Wired UK, where I'm a contributing editor, or in WebUser, where I write the news pages. I also regularly contribute to Teen Vogue, The Outline, CityMetric, New Scientist, Alphr, Vice's Motherboard, IT Pro and Cloud Pro, Computer Shopper, and the Telegraph, and have written for Mental Floss, Ars Technica, Trusted Reviews, MacUser, Computer Active, The Calgary Herald, the Guardian, and more.

I’m a creative, hard-working digital and print journalist, currently specialising in technology, science and transport stories, but happy to write about anything -- even Theresa May coughing.

I focus on high-quality news and features stories, explaining complicated topics with clean, precise writing. I work quickly, write accurately and, perhaps most importantly, hit my deadlines.

Aside from writing and editing, I've had training in investigative journalism, data journalism and photojournalism, and used to be a regular on PC Pro's podcast.

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Skills

  • journalism
  • writing
  • editing
  • news
  • features
  • blogging
  • columns
  • photojournalism
  • photography
  • technology
  • spending hours at the pub
  • Being retweeted by Snowden