NICE draft guidance recommends AI technologies to increase contouring efficiency

NICE has published draft guidance to recommend nine technologies to assist in planning treatment for patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy for prostate, lung or colorectal cancers.

The technologies can be used to produce “contours” or outlines of the healthy organs, in which NICE estimates 3,750 hours of time could be saved across the NHS by using the AI tools. However, NICE notes “due to a lack of robust data on current practice and other variables such as the costs and time involved, more evidence needs to be generated over the next three years so a full cost/benefit analysis can be carried out by NICE.”

NICE announced in the guidance documents nine suppliers as part of the draft recommendation:

  • AI-Rad Companion Organs RT (Siemens Healthineers)
  • ART-Plan (TheraPanacea, Oncology Systems)
  • DLCExpert (Mirada Medical)
  • INTContour (Carina Medical)
  • Limbus Contour (Limbus AI, AMG Medtech)
  • MIM Contour ProtégéAI (MIM Software)
  • MRCAT Prostate plus Auto-contouring (Philips)
  • MVision Segmentation Service (MVision AI Oy, Xiel)
  • RayStation (RaySearch)

A consultation on the recommendations can be viewed at, including the opportunity to submit comments by Friday 25 August 2023.

Last month, NICE published its transformation plan which recognised the need to adapt to and effectively manage new digital technologies and the “exponential” increase in health and care data.

In June, NICE also announced a one-stop-shop and advice service intended to support the wider health and care system “adopt and make use of new digital and artificial intelligence.”

Last year we looked at the introduction of a new AI software at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, which evaluates the technical quality of mammograms. The breast imaging service has been customised for use in screening and symptomatic breast services, providing mammographies with instant feedback and AI-generated position information when the image is taken.