NHS to spend £21 million on Artificial Intelligence to diagnose Cancer and SLASH waiting lists

Artificial intelligence will be implemented more broadly across the NHS in order to save lives and reduce record waiting lists.

The “cutting-edge” equipment can diagnose ailments and treat people more quickly, helping to relieve pressure on the health-care system as winter approaches.

The government has proposed a £21 million fund for trusts to use to develop AI tools for medical imaging and decision assistance.

This includes instruments for analysing chest X-rays in probable lung cancer instances.

So far, the results indicate that it might be 40 times more accurate than existing approaches, detecting the condition in less than 30 seconds.

It is also expected that more than 600,000 X-rays will be performed across England, with patients beginning treatment one hour earlier.

Tech that can diagnose strokes will also be available to all stroke networks by the end of 2023 – up from 86 per cent – and could help patients get treated more quickly and lead to better health outcomes.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said AI could help cut NHS waiting lists before the winter surge.

A record 7.4million people are on waiting lists in England, with four in five requiring scans, tests and other outpatient appointments rather than surgery.

Bids are being welcomed for any AI diagnostic tool, although the DHSC said they “will have to represent value for money for the funding to be approved”.

The Government has invested £123m in 86 AI technologies to date.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, added: “The NHS is already harnessing the benefits of AI across the country in helping to catch and treat major diseases earlier, as well as better managing waiting lists so patients can be seen quicker.

“As we approach our milestone 75th birthday, this is another example of how the NHS is continuing its proud history of adopting the latest proven technology to deliver better care for patients, and better value for taxpayers.”

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