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BEIS backs AI centres for healthcare


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced backing for five new centres of excellence to develop the use of AI in healthcare.

It has pledged £50 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s second wave on using data for diagnosis and precision medicine, with a focus on developing better means of early prescribing of patients’ conditions.

The centres will be in Leeds, Oxford, Coventry, Glasgow and London and each have partners across the UK to develop more intelligent analysis of medical imaging.

BEIS said the products developed at the centres will offer more personalised treatment for patients while freeing up doctors to spend more time caring for patients. The investment in large scale genomics and image analysis will drive new understanding of how complex diseases develop, in a proactive step to ensure people get the right treatment at the right time.

Among the companies expected to play leading roles at the centres are GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips, Leica, Canon and Roche Diagnostics.

Sir Mark Walport (pictured), chief executive of UK Research and Innovation – which administers the fund – said: “The centres announced today bring together the teams that will develop artificial intelligence tools that can analyse medical images varying from x-rays to microscopic sections from tissue biopsies.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise the speed and accuracy of medical diagnosis.”

The centres are:

  • The London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, which will use AI in medical imaging and related clinical data for faster and earlier diagnosis and the automation of reporting.
  • Glasgow’s I-CAIRD (Industrial Centre for AI Research in Digital Diagnostics). It will bring together clinicians, health planners, and industry to work with SMEs to answer clinical questions and solve healthcare challenges.
  • 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, linking up nine industry partners, eight universities and nine 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 centres, which will be based at universities and NHS facilities, are expected to be up and running during 2019.

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