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NHSBSA tests machine learning in prescription payments


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is running a concept project to improve prescribing services through the use of machine learning technology.

It has been highlighted as one of a series of concept projects aimed at understanding how artificial intelligence and machine learning can support the health service.

The initiative has been outlined in a blogpost by Chris Suter, lead cloud architect for NHSBSA, and is aimed at improving the processing and payments from approximately 50 million prescriptions per month.

Suter says that applying machine learning to the process could provide a number of benefits to the NHS, including accuracy in processing, a more effective detection of medical irregularities, the provision of real time data insights, and the ability to build ‘medical maps’ forecasting medical conditions to support GPs and pharmacies.

The blog also highlights the potential of two commercial projects for healthcare: Amazon’s Comprehend Medical, a natural language processing service to extract relevant medical information unstructured text; and Microsoft’s EmpowerMD, which is aimed at creating an AI powered system to capture medical expertise by listening to and observing doctors dealing with patients.

Suter says: “Technologies such as AI and machine learning are evolving at a rapid pace and improving the way in which we live, so it is absolutely key that healthcare takes advantage of these technologies.

“This could be anything from medical data processing, to a form of robots in operating theatres, all with the aim of providing the best outcomes for healthcare professionals and patients.”

Image from iStock, Sekin Mongkonkhamsao

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