The business secretary Greg Clark will announce today five new centres of excellence for digital pathology and imaging, including radiology using artificial intelligence (AI) medical advances.
The centres will be used to help hospitals make scans and biopsy images digital in a bid to cut down manual reporting to free up more staff time for direct patient care in the NHS and is part of a bid to find new ways to speed up diagnosis of diseases to improve to outcomes for patients.
The centres, funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will be based at universities and NHS facilities and are expected to be up and running in 2019.
The centres are:
- London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value-Based Healthcare will use artificial intelligence in medical imaging and related clinical data for faster and earlier diagnosis and automating expensive and time-consuming manual reporting
- Glasgow’s I-CAIRD (Industrial Centre for AI Research in Digital Diagnostics) will bring together clinicians, health planners, and industry to work with innovative SMEs to answer clinical questions, and solve healthcare challenges more quickly and efficiently
- NCIMI (National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging) in Oxford will consider the role clinical imaging plays in the delivery of more personalised care and earlier diagnosis to support disease prevention and treatment
- The Northern Pathology Imaging Collaborative (NPIC) located in Leeds will boost the city’s reputation in digital pathology research further by creating a world-leading centre linking up nine industry partners, eight universities and nine NHS trusts
- The Pathology image data Lake for Analytics, Knowledge and Education (PathLAKE), based in Coventry, will use NHS pathology data to drive economic growth in health-related AI
Professor Sir Mark Walport, chief executive of UKRI said: “Early diagnosis of illness can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment and save lives.
“The centres announced today bring together the teams that will develop artificial intelligence tools that can analyse medical images varying from x-rays to microscopic sections from tissue biopsies. Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise the speed and accuracy of medical diagnosis.”
The centres will bring together doctors, businesses and academics to develop products using these advances in digital technology to improve early diagnosis of disease, including cancer by detecting abnormalities.
Health secretary Matt Hancock, said: “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.
“As part of our long-term plan, we will transform the NHS into an ecosystem of enterprise and innovation that allows technology to flourish and evolve.”
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, while investment in large-scale genomics and image analysis will drive new understanding of how complex diseases develop.
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.”