CUTTING-edge tech is set to revolutionise how the NHS treats major killer conditions, pledges Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister is pumping £250 million into creating the National Artificial Intelligence Lab, which aims to “transform” life-saving health research.
Ministers claim harnessing new tech – such as artificial intelligence and gene testing – will allow doctors and nurses to spend more time with patients.
Officials say the extra cash for the scheme is in addition to the £1.8 billion NHS boost announced earlier this week.
PM Mr Johnson said: “The NHS is revered for the world-class care it provides every day.
“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.”
We are on the cusp of a huge health tech revolution
AI is already used in a number of NHS trusts, including University College Hospital in London where it identifies which patients are most likely to miss appointments.
It allows staff to follow-up with targeted phone calls, helping to save £2-3 per appointment. And at Imperial College London, computers are used to better predict chances of surviving ovarian cancer.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are on the cusp of a huge health tech revolution that could transform patient experience by making the NHS a truly predictive, preventive and personalised health and care service.
“I am determined to bring the benefits of technology to patients and staff. It’s part of our mission to make the NHS the best it can be.”
The new lab, part of the pioneering NHS X initiative, aims to save thousands more lives and slash health spending by boosting hospital and GP efficiency.
It follows on from plans to have five million Brits have their genes tested for free to better predict their risk of serious illness.
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Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “Carefully targeted AI is now ready for practical application in health services, and this investment is another step in the right direction to help the NHS
become a world leader in using these important technologies.
“In the first instance it should help personalise NHS screening and treatments for cancer, eye disease and a range of other conditions, as well as freeing up staff time.”