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UK Government invests £100m in AI for healthcare

Written by Wed 1 Nov 2023

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £100 million ($121 million) investment to advance healthcare with artificial intelligence (AI).

The investment will be channelled through the AI Life Sciences Accelerator Mission, which will utilise the UK’s strength in secure health data and AI.

“AI can help us solve some of the greatest social challenges of our time. AI could help find novel dementia treatments or develop vaccines for cancer,” said Sunak.

The funding will assist the Government in investing in areas of the UK with the greatest clinical needs. The investment will test and trial new technologies in the next 18 months.

“Cutting-edge technology such as AI is the key to both improving patient care and supporting staff to do their jobs and we are seeing positive impacts across the NHS,” said Steve Barclay, Health and Social Care Secretary.

The Government has committed to advancing mental health research over the next five years by developing data infrastructure. This initiative aims to benefit individuals with mental health conditions.

“Safe, responsible AI will change the game for what it’s possible to do in healthcare, closing the gap between the discovery and application of innovative new therapies, diagnostic tools, and ways of working that will give clinicians more time with their patients,” said Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology.

The investment is expected to help drive forward the Government’s Life Sciences Vision. This plan encompasses eight healthcare missions the Government, industry, the NHS, academia, and medical research charities will collaborate to solve.

The Government will leverage existing partnerships currently using AI to bring together successful industry, academia, and clinicians. The goal is to promote AI research into earlier diagnosis and faster drug discovery.

AI technologies have shown promise in diagnosing and treating mental health issues. Leading companies have used conversational AI to support individuals, offer preventive guidance, and refer cases to human therapists. This ultimately reduced the strain on NHS waiting lists.

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Written by Wed 1 Nov 2023

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