Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the UK is a promising area for healthcare technology improvements, backed by the government as part of the Industrial Strategy.
Five new NHS centres of excellence for digital pathology and imaging will be opened during 2019. The centres will be funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which invests in science and business research and development innovations and all of the centres will be using AI medical advances. The centres, as announced on the gov.uk press release, are:
- London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value-Based Healthcare will use artificial intelligence in medical imaging and related clinical data for faster and earlier diagnosis and automating expensive and time-consuming manual reporting
- Glasgow’s I-CAIRD (Industrial Centre for AI Research in Digital Diagnostics) will bring together clinicians, health planners, and industry to work with innovative SMEs to answer clinical questions, and solve healthcare challenges more quickly and efficiently
- NCIMI (National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging) in Oxford will consider the role clinical imaging plays in the delivery of more personalised care and earlier diagnosis to support disease prevention and treatment
- The Northern Pathology Imaging Collaborative (NPIC) located in Leeds will boost the city’s reputation in digital pathology research further by creating a world-leading centre linking up 9 industry partners, 8 universities and 9 NHS trusts
- Based in Coventry, the Pathology image data Lake for Analytics, Knowledge and Education (PathLAKE) will use NHS pathology data to drive economic growth in health-related AI
The AI should improve treatment for patients and free-up more of doctors time. Business Secretary Greg Clark has stated:
“The innovation at these new centres will help diagnose disease earlier to give people more options when it comes to their treatment, and make reporting more efficient, freeing up time for our much-admired NHS staff time to spend on direct patient care.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Artificial intelligence will play a crucial role in the future of the NHS – and we need to embrace it by introducing systems which can speed up diagnoses, improve patient outcomes, make every pound go further and give clinicians more time with their patients.
As part of our long-term plan, we will transform the NHS into an ecosystem of enterprise and innovation that allows technology to flourish and evolve.”