Nine of the most promising artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare technology companies are to receive nearly £16 million in government funding for research.
Patients across the country could benefit from quicker, earlier diagnoses and more effective treatments for a range of conditions – as the government invests nearly £16 million into pioneering artificial intelligence research (AI).
Nine companies have been awarded funding through the third round of the AI in Health and Care Awards, which is accelerating the testing and deployment of the most promising AI technologies.
The awards were set up in 2019 to develop AI technology focused on helping patients manage long-term conditions, improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis, and ultimately help tackle the Covid backlogs and cut waiting lists.
They are delivered between by the NHS AI Lab, the Accelerated Access Collaborative and the National Institute for Health and Care Research.
The winners include AI systems which can help detect cancer, diagnose rare diseases, identify women at highest risk of premature birth and support the treatment of neurological conditions like dementia. The funding will be used to support the testing, evaluation and adoption of their technologies by the NHS.
In total, so far £123 million has been invested in 86 AI technologies across three rounds of awards supporting over 300,000 patients and improving their care and treatment for health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental health and neurological disorders.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Artificial Intelligence has the potential to speed up diagnoses and treatments and free up time for our doctors and nurses so they can focus on caring for patients. Around 300,000 people have already benefitted from companies supported by our AI awards, with tens of thousands more set to benefit.
“These schemes includes technology that could recognise the signs of cancer more quickly and accurately, predict which women are more likely to give birth prematurely or analyse electronic health records to detect the signs of an undiagnosed rare disease.”
Start-up Ibex has been awarded more than £1.5 million and it has developed an AI-driven algorithm to run checks for breast cancer.
The technology analyses images of tissue extracts, helping pathologists detect cancer, so they can complete diagnoses more quickly. Its high accuracy rate could reduce the need for patients to repeat the biopsy process and free up more time for consultants.