UK’s Artificial Intelligence ‘revolution’ gets new backing

Patients are set to benefit from radical advances in medical technology using artificial intelligence to diagnose diseases at an earlier stage, with the announcement by Business Secretary, Greg Clark, of five new centres of excellence – in Leeds, Oxford, Coventry, Glasgow, and London – for digital pathology and imaging, including radiology, using AI medical advances.

Making the announcement, the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said the centres – in Leeds, Oxford, Coventry, Glasgow, and London – would help speed up diagnosis of diseases to improve outcomes for patients, by making make scans and biopsy images digital, ‘cutting down manual reporting to free up more staff time for direct patient care in the NHS’. 

The Department said: “The products developed at the new 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.

Business Secretary Greg Clark added: “AI has the potential to revolutionise healthcare and improve lives for the better. That’s why our modern Industrial Strategy puts pioneering technologies at the heart of our plans to build a Britain fit for the future. The innovation at these new centres will help diagnose disease earlier to give people more options when it comes to their treatment, and make reporting more efficient, freeing up time for our much-admired NHS staff time to spend on direct patient care.”

The centres will be funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the government’s ‘flagship investment programme that focusses on addressing the opportunities and challenges of the future’, which is managed by UK Research and Innovation. They will be ‘spearheaded’ by some of the UK’s leading medical companies, including GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips, Leica, Canon, and Roche Diagnostics.



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