Secondary Care

London AI Consortium receives funding boost

A consortium of academic, health and industry partners, led by Kings College London has been awarded a £16 million DHSC grant to support its programme of artificial intelligence research.

The London Medical Imaging & AI Centre for Value Based Healthcare network will now expand from 4 NHS Trusts to 11, including Brighton & Sussex University, East Kent Hospitals University, Imperial College Healthcare, Lewisham and Greenwich, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, Royal Brompton & Harefield and University College London NHS Trusts.

It comes as part of a £50 million UK Government funding programme to help scale up the work of existing Digital Pathology and Imaging Artificial Intelligence Centres of Excellence. The programme was established last year to support and develop products to improve early diagnosis of disease and now aims to support the COVID-19 long-term response.

The AI Centre will install IT infrastructure to run multiple machine learning algorithms and create clinical applications for day-to-day patient care. The funding will also be used to develop AI-enabled MRI and ultrasound machines, to help improve the speed, accuracy and reliability of imaging interpretation and diagnosis.

It will also use the funding to provide capabilities for the NHS to test and deploy a federated learning and interoperability platform to store, curate and analyse large volumes of clinical data.  An AI deployment engine which is hoped will enable the integration of algorithms directly into clinical workflows will also be developed.

AI Centre Director, Professor Reza Razavi, said: “The AI Centre can continue its mission to spearhead innovations in AI-driven healthcare that will have significant impact on the clinical, research and broader community. Artificial intelligence technology provides significant opportunities to improve diagnostics and therapies as well as reduce administrative costs.”

“With machine learning, we can use existing data to help clinicians better predict when disease will occur, diagnosing and treating it earlier, and personalising treatments, which will be less resource intensive and provides better health outcomes for our patients.”

Ian Abbs, CEO, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said: “This additional funding to support AI driven service transformation is hugely welcome as we know that this will be one of the most exciting areas of healthcare innovation in the next few years.”

“AI technology has already shown its potential to improve care for our patients, and to drive safety and efficiency. It will support our clinicians to deliver the best possible diagnosis and treatment based on accumulated learning that is beyond that of even the most experienced clinician.”