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Five AI medical centres to open in 2019 to speed up diagnosis, government announces

Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy


Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, says the new medical technology centres will help diagnose disease earlier to give patients more treatment options, freeing up NHS staff to spend on direct patient care

Five new medical technology centres will open across England and Scotland in 2019 to help speed up the diagnosis of disease and improve outcomes for patients, business secretary Greg Clark has announced.

The centres, which will be based in universities and NHS facilities in Leeds, Oxford, Coventry, Glasgow and London, will use artificial intelligence (AI) to develop more intelligent analysis of medical imaging in order to improve clinical decision-making and enable the development of personalised treatments for patients.

“AI has the potential to revolutionise healthcare and improve lives for the better,” said Clark in a press release published on 6 November 2018.

“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 £50m required to develop these centres will be funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which is managed by UK Research and Innovation. The investment is a significant step in delivering on commitments laid out in the Life Sciences Sector Deal, which built on an independent review of  the UK life sciences industry, Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.

Matt Hancock, secretary of state for health and social care, said in the same statement: “Artificial intelligence will play a crucial role in the future of the NHS — and we need to embrace it by introducing systems which can speed up diagnoses, improve patient outcomes, make every pound go further and give clinicians more time with their patients.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205706

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