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Government provides £50 million for AI in disease diagnosis


Mark Say Managing Editor


The Government has provided £50 million to increase the use of artificial intelligence by the NHS in disease diagnosis.

Virtual skeleton on laptop

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the money will go to scaling up the work of the centres of excellence for AI in digital pathology and imaging that were set up in 2018.

This will feed into the digital upgrading of pathology and imaging services across 38 NHS trusts serving 26.5 million patients.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am determined we do all we can to save lives by spotting cancer sooner. Bringing the benefits of artificial intelligence to the frontline of our health service with this funding is another step in that mission.”

The National Pathology Imaging Collaborative in Leeds will receive a share of the money to help it develop a centre linking up to nine industry partners, eight universities and nine NHS trusts.

National network

Darren Treanor, the co-operative’s director and consultant pathologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said this will support the building of a national network to get expert second opinions on rare cancers more rapidly.

“This funding puts the NHS in a strong position to be a global leader in the use of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis of disease,” he said.

The Pathology Image Data Lake for Analytics, Knowledge and Education (PathLAKE) in Coventry will receive investment to use NHS pathology data to drive economic growth in health related AI.

Money will also go to the London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, which will use artificial intelligence in medical imaging and related clinical data for faster and earlier diagnosis and to automate reporting.

Image from iStock metamoreworks

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