DHSC seeks further AI innovation in healthcare

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has opened the second round of applications for funding under its AI in Health and Care initiative.

Tech firms, researchers and developers can now bid for support in developing and testing artificial intelligence and machine learning products and systems for use in the NHS.

A statement explained that DHSC is particularly interested in applications dealing with triage, screening, imaging and intelligent operational automation.

The first round of awards in September gave 42 projects a share of £50 million from the overall budget of £140 million.

Those awardees are now undergoing testing, and include a phone app to help detect early kidney disease in urine samples of diabetic patients, an algorithm to remove the need for the second human reader to assess breast cancer screening scans, and a software platform that uses AI to detect early lung cancer.

NHSX director of artificial intelligence Indra Joshi said: “This award will help us harness the enormous range of innovation in AI so the NHS can be a world leader in the use and deployment of these cutting edge technologies.

“Before we can roll out these new devices or processes, the award will enable us to test and evaluate them so we can make sure they deliver the expected benefits to staff and patients.”

The project funding comes from the National AI Lab, which was created last August within NHSX, alongside the NHS Access Collaboration, which brings together industry, government, regulators, patients and the NHS to accelerate the introduction of new treatments and diagnostics.

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