The UK government announced that it would invest $300 million in public funds in the National Health Service to be used to set up an Artificial Intelligence Lab to enhance diagnostic techniques and research.
The Lab will bring together academic, medical experts, and potential startups to achieve the digitization of the health care system. The new initiative acts as a platform for interested and promising entities to collective work together to tackle the biggest hurdles in the health care industry.
“We are on the cusp of a huge health tech revolution that could transform the patient’s experience by making the NHS a truly predictive, preventive and personalized health and care service,” quoted Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary.
The Department of Health and Social Care stated that AI Lab would focus on enhancing the diagnostic techniques including earlier cancer detection, new dementia treatments, and more personalized care.
Automating admin tasks, upskilling the NHS workforce, identifying the risk of specific diseases are some of the other areas that the Lab would focus on.
NHS had already partnered with promising AI-based startups, including Google-owned DeepMind in 2015 to develop Streams, a clinical task management app that was employed in many NHS hospitals.
However, the partnership fell apart when it came to light that the NHS trust did not obtain proper consent from the patients for the use of their personal information.
DeepMind, later, came up with its own AI app for predicting a condition called acute kidney injury by partnering with other firms that have access to NHS patient data.
Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, stated that the AI application was ready for practical application in health services and the investment would be a significant step to help NHS become a world leader in digitizing the health sector.
He further added that it would initially focus on personalized screening and treatment of various diseases, including cancer, eye diseases, and automating the management process to upskill the workforce.
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