Home » News » £250 million boost for artificial intelligence in NHS

£250 million boost for artificial intelligence in NHS

The Department of Health has announced a £250 million funding boost for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the NHS to solve some of the biggest healthcare challenges.

AI is already being developed in some hospitals in partnership with universities, including the partnership between UCLH and UCL, where researchers have so far:

-          Developed an AI-based method for detecting the brain’s response to multiple sclerosis

-          Developed AI to predict which patients are most likely to miss appointments

-          Been awarded £3.3 million to apply AI to tackle the threat of anti-microbial resistance.

NHSX, the new organisation which will oversee the digitisation of the health and care service, will oversee the use of the £250 million, in partnership with the Accelerated Access Collaborative, which fast-tracks “breakthrough” medicines and technologies for the NHS.

Interviewed on the BBC News Channel, Professor Bryan Williams, NIHR University College London Hospitals BRC Director and Director of Research at UCLH, stressed the opportunities were “enormous” for the use of AI in the NHS, including in terms of diagnosing patients. He said: “There are many examples where computational processes in the background are going to speed up diagnostics.”

Professor Williams said hospitals placed the highest priority on the security of patient data, and development work can be done without the use of identifiable patient data, adding that in many cases synthetic data – which is not real patient data but has been modelled on patient data – is used.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The experts tell us that because of our NHS and our tech talent, the UK could be the world leader in these advances in healthcare, so I’m determined to give the NHS the chance to be the world leader in saving lives through artificial intelligence and genomics.”