Artificial Intelligence centres of excellence to be launched across the UK

Sir Mark Walport

Sir Mark Walport

Based in Leeds, Oxford, Coventry, Glasgow and London, but each with partners spanning the United Kingdom, the centres will develop more intelligent analysis of medical imaging, leading to better clinical decisions for patients, and freeing more staff time for direct patient care in the NHS.

According to the United Kingdom government, the products developed at the new centres will provide more personalised treatment for patients while freeing up doctors to spend more time on frontline care.

Greg Clark Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced five new Artificial Intelligence centres of excellence for digital pathology and imaging, including radiology, using artificial intelligence (AI) medical advances.

Imaging, diagnostics and pathology are fast becoming major frontiers in healthcare AI research, and it is these areas that the new facilities will focus on.

"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".

Among the companies expected to play leading roles at the centres are GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips, Leica, Canon and Roche Diagnostics.

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"With our pan-Scotland approach, we will build on existing strengths and deploy AI within NHS Scotland to transform diagnostics and healthcare in Scotland to improve outcomes for patients", said Professor David Harrison, Principal Investigator for the project, based at St Andrews but with visiting professorships in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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. It will bring together clinicians, health planners, and industry to work with SMEs to answer clinical questions and solve healthcare challenges.

Based in Coventry, the Pathology image data Lake for Analytics, Knowledge and Education (PathLAKE) will use NHS pathology data to drive economic growth in health related AI.

"Early diagnosis of illness can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment and save lives".

Dr Yvette Oade, chief medical officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said it was a "huge opportunity" for Yorkshire to become a leader in medical use of AI, adding: "This is a really exciting step for patients because computers using artificial intelligence can be trained to recognise the patterns of disease".

It is predicted that iCAIRD, which will have other bases around the United Kingdom, will create new jobs centred around AI and digital technology in healthcare.

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