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The UK government has announced it’s rerouting £250M (~$300M) in public funds for the country’s National Health Service (NHS) to set up an artificial intelligence lab that will work to expand the use of AI technologies within the service.
The Lab, which will sit within a new NHS unit tasked with overseeing the digitisation of the health and care system (aka: NHSX), will act as an interface for academic and industry experts, including potentially startups, encouraging research and collaboration with NHS entities (and data) — to drive health-related AI innovation and the uptake of AI-driven healthcare within the NHS.
Fall - Post - Health - Secretary - Matt
Last fall the then new in post health secretary, Matt Hancock, set out a tech-first vision of future healthcare provision — saying he wanted to transform NHS IT so it can accommodate “healthtech” to support “preventative, predictive and personalised care”.
In a press release announcing the AI lab, the Department of Health and Social Care suggested it would seek to tackle “some of the biggest challenges in health and care, including earlier cancer detection, new dementia treatments and more personalised care”.
Areas - Focus
Other suggested areas of focus include:
Google-owned UK AI specialist DeepMind has been an early mover in some of these areas — inking a partnership with a London-based NHS trust in 2015 to develop a clinical task management app called Streams that’s been rolled out to a number of NHS hospitals.
Case - DeepMind - Company - Cache - NHS
In the case of DeepMind, the company also hoped to use the same cache of NHS data it obtained for Streams to develop an AI algorithm for earlier detection of a condition called acute kidney injury (AKI).
However the data-sharing partnership ran into trouble when concerns were raised about the legal basis for reusing patient data to develop AI. And in 2017 the UK’s data watchdog found DeepMind’s partner NHS trust had failed to obtain...
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