Pathology and imaging AI boost


The NHS has announced a £50 million investment in artificial intelligence technology to help speed up the diagnosis of deadly diseases such as cancer.

According to the Department for Health and Social Care, the investment is aimed at enhancing the work of its digital pathology and imaging artificial intelligence centres of excellence, as launched in 2018. The three centres receiving a share of the funding – based in Coventry, Leeds and London - will in turn deliver “digital upgrades” to pathology and imaging services across 38 NHS trusts.

Speaking of the funding increase, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “Technology is a force for good in our fight against the deadliest diseases. It can transform and save lives through faster diagnosis, free-up clinicians to spend time with their patients, and make every pound in the NHS go further.

“I am determined we do all we can to save lives by spotting cancer sooner. Bringing the benefits of artificial intelligence to the frontline of our health service with this funding is another step in that mission.”

National pathology imaging co-operative director Darren Treanor said: “This investment will allow us to use digital pathology to diagnose cancer at 21 NHS trusts in the north, serving a population of six million people.

“We will also build a national network spanning another 25 hospitals in England, allowing doctors to get expert second opinions in rare cancers - such as childhood tumours - more rapidly.”
The new funding is part of a government commitment to spotting three-quarters of all cancers at an early stage, by 2028.

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