News, NHS trust

AI trial at Frimley Health NHS aims to support lung cancer triage and diagnosis

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust is leading a trial using artificial intelligence in radiology with the aim of enabling more efficient triaging and prioritisation of lung cancer cases, which the trust hopes will help in speeding up the cancer diagnosis pathway and improving patient experience.

The AI tech, developed by, is designed to highlight abnormal scans to enable radiologists to focus on reporting urgent cases as priority. Frimley highlights how the technology could play a role in reducing workload for consultant radiologists “by up to 58 percent” through enabling the transfer of cases to radiographers where appropriate.

So far, the trial has found that the AI matches the trust’s “normal” accuracy levels in detecting lung cancer from triaging scans (99.7 percent), with the technology identifying “all cancer cases – even the inconspicuous cancer risk nodules that may traditionally have remained unnoticed.”

Dr Amrita Kumar, the consultant radiologist leading the trial, said: “This is a very exciting time for the future of AI Technology within the NHS and we are delighted to be leading the implementation with this important six-month study. AI has a huge potential impact for assisting clinicians and radiologists with triaging and prioritising urgent findings, speeding up the cancer diagnosis pathway, and improving the patient journey.”

Darren Stephens, senior vice president and commercial head of UK and Europe for, added: “The looming radiologist shortage, now estimated by Royal College of Radiologists to be 40 percent by 2027, underscores the importance of healthcare AI to help bridge the human resource gap and ensure the delivery of the highest standard of patient care into the future. The study at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust is testimony to the clinical leadership at the trust in embracing AI as an opportunity for positive change.”

In other AI news, the government has announced that £13 million is to be made available from the UK Research and Innovation’s Technology Missions Fund to support 22 health research projects which focus on the use of artificial intelligence to “assist and refine” diagnostics and procedures.

Google’s generative AI Med-PaLM 2 has also been used by early adopters including Bayer Pharmaceuticals, to speed up the process of bringing drugs to the market, and to assist with administrative tasks such as medical note-taking.