Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Boris Johnson pledges £250m for AI in the NHS

The UK government just announced it will pledge £250m (roughly $304m) to be invested in a national artificial intelligence (AI) research lab for the NHS.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, who claimed that with this new investment AI will be able to transform care and cut waiting times in hospitals.

Johnson also added the digital advances brought it by these applications of AI will also improve the discovery of diseases by predicting who is most likely to contract them.

“The NHS is revered for the world-class care it provides every day,” he said.

“But it is also leading the way in harnessing new technology to treat and prevent, from earlier cancer detection to spotting the deadly signs of dementia.

“Today’s funding is not just about the future of care though. It will also boost the frontline by automating admin tasks and freeing up staff to care for patients.”

However, health experts are worried that, given the NHS’ poor record with technology, any new systems would have to go through “robust evaluation” to ensure actual benefits as well as proper implementation through safety standards and training procedures.

“I expect radiologists to be leaders in using AI algorithms to assist them,” Dr Nicola Strickland, president of the Royal College of Radiologists told the BBC, “provided they can see evidence that these AI algorithms have been developed using large enough, properly curated data and rigorously validated and tested.”

Given that the Prime Minister didn’t specify where the money was coming from, experts also inquired as to where the AI funding was coming as a result of compromises somewhere else within the health service.

AI is already used in the UK healthcare, with the Government announcing last October a £50m in government funding to open five new AI centres across the country to offer more personalised treatment for patients while allowing doctors to spend more time caring for patients.

“The experts tell us that because of our NHS and our tech talent, the UK could be the world leader in these advances in healthcare,” said Health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, “so I’m determined to give the NHS the chance to be the world leader in saving lives through artificial intelligence and genomics.”

Image via Wikipedia and Pixabay.


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