NHS setting up a national artificial intelligence laboratory

The Doctor will see you now

Mark Frankish, Data Scientist, SAS UK & Ireland

“Leveraging artificial intelligence to improve patient care is a sure sign that the NHS is taking the right approach towards the use of new technologies to combat disease.  


“Currently, ten times more money is spent on treating disease than prevention – £97bn of public money versus £8bn trying to prevent it. When taking the barrage of reduced budgets into account, it is easy to see why doctors are struggling to achieve their targets while waiting times are on the rise – the benefits that new technologies provide are plentiful. With artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics, data from past case notes, biomedical imaging and health monitors can be used to ease these difficulties.


“That being said, public sector technology projects have a patchy record – not least in the NHS. This makes it all the more important that the health service learns the lessons from similar AI and ML applications in the private sector. 


“Investing in a secure organisational foundation to facilitate AI implementation must therefore be a priority if the NHS is to reap the benefits. Employing a centralised system where all data, including from outside the organisation, can be accessed by every clinician, administrator and application, will greatly facilitate advances in predictive diagnostics and forecasting abilities, enabling the NHS to derive maximum value from its data and, ultimately, save more lives.”