News, Secondary Care

NHSX publishes state of AI in healthcare report

NHSX, the body responsible for delivering the Health Secretary’s Tech Vision has today published a new report on the state of AI in healthcare.

The report highlights where the organisation sees practical examples for AI and what the organisation is doing to build ethics and transparency into the use of AI.

To view the report please click here.

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary said “We love the NHS because it’s always been there for us, through some of the best moments in life and some of the worst. That’s why we’re so excited about the extraordinary potential of artificial intelligent systems (AIS) for healthcare. Put simply, this technology can make the NHS even better at what it does: treating and caring for people.”

“This includes areas like diagnostics, using data-driven tools to complement the expert judgement of frontline staff. In the report, for example, you’ll read about the East Midlands Radiology Consortium who are studying Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a ‘second reader’ of mammogram images, helping radiologists with an incredibly consequential decision, whether or not to recall a patient. In the near future this kind of tech could mean faster diagnosis, more accurate treatments, and ultimately more NHS patients hearing the words ‘all clear’.”

“AIS can also help us get smarter in the way we plan the NHS and manage its resources. Take NHS Blood & Transplant, who are looking at how AI can forecast how much blood plasma a hospital needs to hold onsite on any given day. Or University College London Hospitals (UCLH) who are trialling tools that can predict the risk of missed outpatient appointments.”

“Most exciting of all is the possibility that AI can help with the next round of game- changing medical breakthroughs. Already, algorithms can compare tens of thousands of drug compounds in a matter of weeks instead of the years it would take a human researcher. Genomic data could radically improve our understanding of disease and help us get better at taking pre-emptive action that keeps people out of hospitals.”

The report provides an update on what has been done in developing the plans for the NHS AI Lab, which will encompass work programmes designed to:

  • Accelerate adoption of proven AI technologies e.g. image recognition technologies including mammograms, brain scans, eye scans and heart monitoring for cancer screening.
  • Encourage the development of AI technologies for operational ef ciency purposes e.g. predictive models that better estimate future needs of beds, drugs, devices or surgeries.
  • Create environments to test the safety and ef cacy of technologies that can be used to identify patients most at risk of diseases such as heart disease or dementia, allowing for earlier diagnosis and cheaper, more focused, personalised prevention.
  • Train the NHS workforce of the future so that they can use AI systems for day-to-day tasks.
  • Inspect algorithms already used by the NHS, and those being developed for the NHS, to increase the standards of AI safety, making systems fairer, more robust and ensuring patient con dentiality is protected.
  • Invest in world-leading research tools and methods that help people apply ethics and regulatory requirements.

The report sets the scene for what AI is in healthcare and highlights 132 different AI products have been developed for screening 70 different conditions – the report includes a ‘State of the Nation’ survey results.

It also includes information on governance and code of conduct, details on adoption, spread and the challenges faced.

The report also includes various case study examples of AI in healthcare. To view the report please click here.