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Government announces funding for new NHS AI Lab
- August 15, 2019

Part of the government’s £250M investment into artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which was announced on Thursday 8th August 2019, will be spent by NHSX, the new body responsible for the delivering the NHS Tech Vision, in partnership with Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) on a new artificial intelligence laboratory.

The laboratory itself will be used as a facility in which staff can utilise the benefits if AI technology within safe and ethical limits as a way of supporting practical methods that can support busy NHS staff, namely early detection of life threatening diseases such as cancer as well as the formulation of prosthetics and medical instruments such as personalised spinal splints for children with disabilities.

Furthermore, the laboratory will facilitate cross-government, industry and academic collaborations in tackling these types of medical conundrums, with the plan for activities if the laboratory to be overseen by a network of experts such as technicians, policy makers, clinicians, patient representative groups, regulators, academics, and data ethicists.

Both the funding and the laboratory fall under the Industrial Strategy life sciences mission to use data, AI, and innovation to transform prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030. This links further to the Accelerating Detection of Disease programme which was announced as a component of the Life Sciences Sector Deal 2, back in December 2018.

NHSX are of the strong opinion that the construction of the AI Laboratory is a necessary and positive investment in the future of both the nation and out National Health Service, although it does recognise that some individuals may be apprehensive in regard to the privacy of people’s personal health data, as well as the job security of frontline NHS staff.

The announcement of this investment follows the announcement of £1.8Bn worth of funding on Tuesday 6th August 2019.

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