In the latest effort to tackle cancer, dementia and heart disease, the UK government announced £250 million, about US$303 million, in funding for an AI project. Using this fund, the government will open a National Artificial Intelligence Lab that will, as authorities reported, improve cancer screening by stimulating test results; recognize patients who are most at risk of heart disease and dementia; and automate administrative tasks which will allow clinicians spend more time with patients.
The new lab will sit within NHSx, a unit that has brought together experts from the NHS, the health department and industry to drive forward the digitisation of the health service. In a statement, the chief executive of NHS (National Health Service) England, Simon Stevens says, “Carefully targeted AI is now ready for practical application in health services, and the investment announced is another step in the right direction to help the NHS become a world leader in using these important technologies.”
The NHS is publicly funded and has been running since 1948. The health service is guided by principles, including services should be comprehensive, meet the needs of all citizens, free at the point of delivery. Each service offers an inclusive range of health services, based on clinical need rather than a person’s ability to pay.
As part of the AI project announcement, Stevens added, “In the first instance it should help personalize NHS screening and treatments for cancer, eye disease and a range of other conditions, as well as freeing up staff time.”
As artificial intelligence plays an increasingly significant role in healthcare, in August last year, it was reported that the technology had been utilized to find out signs of eye disease. This results in a partnership between researchers at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, DeepMind Health and the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. At that time, Moorfields Eye Hospital said in a statement that thousands of historic, de-personalized eye scans were analyzed. And the artificial intelligence system able to recommend the correct referral decision for over 50 eye diseases with an accuracy of 94 percent.
AI technologies have already transformed and revolutionized the health system at all levels. It’s managing medical records and other data, performing tedious tasks, monitoring health, among others. When looking at market research reports, the global market of AI in healthcare is predicted to reach from $1,441 million in 2016 to $22,790 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 48.7%.
Currently, the most popular AI techniques are machine learning and deep learning. Distinct from computer programs that rigidly pursue rules written by humans, both machine learning and deep learning algorithms can look at a data set, learn from it, and create new predictions. Particularly, deep learning can make notable predictions by exploring data patterns that people might miss.