May 17, 2020

Theresa May is set to unveil her plans to leverage AI to support the diagnosis of long-term diseases

Artificial intelligence
healthcare services
Catherine Sturman
2 min
healthcare AI (Getty Images)
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised traditional industries, enabling businesses to look at algorithms to drive solutions, boost q...

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised traditional industries, enabling businesses to look at algorithms to drive solutions, boost quality and value and deliver essential positive outcomes.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will announce her plans to leverage AI in a speech today, in order to prevent up to 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033, with 50,000 patients gaining the ability to gain a diagnosis of ovarian, prostate, lung or bowel cancer at an earlier stage than before.

"The development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armoury in the fight against disease,” May is set to state in her speech in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

"Achieving this mission will not only save thousands of lives. It will incubate a whole new industry around AI-in-healthcare, creating high-skilled science jobs across the country, drawing on existing centres of excellence in places like Edinburgh, Oxford and Leeds - and helping to grow new ones."

According to Cancer Research, over 160,000 deaths resulted from cancer in 2016, accounting for one in four UK deaths. 

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“Our goal is that three in four people will survive their cancer by 2034 and we support efforts that will help us achieve this ambition,” explained Sir Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive Officer at Cancer Research.

"Advances in detection technologies depend on the intelligent use of data and have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

"The UK must remain an attractive place for the life sciences industry to invest. If this platform unites Government, academia, the charity sector, and industry, we will be primed to accelerate innovation and lead the healthcare sector to new heights," he added.

Up to £1.4bn has been invested in research and development capabilities thus far, where the use of AI will also be embedded in detecting early signs of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, dementia and diabetes.

Developing essential algorithms will work to drive this vision, and further support medical professionals across the entire spectrum of care.

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Jun 18, 2021

Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool 

2 min
Skin Analytics uses AI to detect skin cancer and will be deployed across the NHS to ease patient backlogs

An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system. 

NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion. 

Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making. 

In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog. 

Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening. 

DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.

Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges. 

"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”

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