£36m boost for AI technologies to revolutionise NHS care

Healthcare | South East | Technology

AI

Thousands of patients and NHS staff will benefit from dozens of new pioneering projects awarded a share of £36m to test state-of-the-art AI technology. The projects will help the NHS to transform the quality of care and the speed of diagnoses for conditions such as lung cancer.

At CogX Festival today, the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock announced the winners of the second wave of the NHS AI Lab’s AI in Health and Care Award. The 38 trailblazing projects backed by NHSX and Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) include: an AI-guided tool to help doctors and nurses to diagnose heart attacks more accurately; an algorithm to fast-track the detection of lung cancer; an AI-powered mental health app to help tackle symptoms of anxiety and depression while also identifying people experiencing severe mental health difficulties; and tech to help spot undiagnosed spinal fractures.

Already over 17,000 stroke patients and over 25,000 patients with diabetes or high blood pressure have benefited from the first round of the AI in Health and Care Award since September, where £50m was given to 42 AI technologies.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “AI has the potential to completely revolutionise every part of how we approach healthcare, from how we diagnose diseases and the speed at which our doctors and nurses deliver treatments to how we support people’s mental health. The 38 projects we are backing reflect the UK’s trailblazing approach to innovation in the healthcare sector, and could help us take a leap forward in the quality of care and the speed of disease diagnoses and treatment in the NHS. Confronted with this global pandemic, our tech sector has risen to the challenge and upended how we do things through innovations to support people to test from home, complete remote consultations and diagnose issues safely.”

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “Through our NHS AI Lab we’re now backing a new generation of ground-breaking but practical solutions to some of the biggest challenges in healthcare. Precision cancer diagnosis, accurate surgery, and new ways of offering mental health support are just a few of the promising real world patient benefits. Because as the NHS comes through the pandemic, rather than a return to old ways, we’re supercharging a more innovative future. So today our message to developers worldwide is clear – the NHS is ready to help you test your innovations and ensure our patients are among the first in the world to benefit from new AI technologies.”

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