March 10, 2023
At a Glance
- British government gives out $19.1 million AI in health care awards.
- Nine organizations received the funding to accelerate rollout to NHS patients.
- Treatments and diagnoses for breast cancer, high-risk pregnancy and rare diseases set to get a boost.
The British government has awarded over $19 million to nine AI health-related ventures to roll out the technology to the nation’s public health care provider, the National Health Service.
The programs include using AI in cancer diagnosis, identification of women susceptible to high-risk premature births, rare disease detection and treatment of dementia.
The AI in Health and Care Awards were given out to companies that had the most potential to help patients. The funds were delivered through the NHS AI Lab, Accelerated Access Collaborative and the National Institute for Health and Care Research.
“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,” said health and social care secretary Steve Barclay. “Around 300,000 people have already benefited from companies supported by our AI awards, with tens of thousands more set to benefit.”
Among those receiving awards, included Ibex Medical Analytics, which has developed algorithms to evaluate images of tissue extracts to better diagnose breast cancer. Ibex received $1.8 million to roll out its tech several NHS sites, including Cambridge University Hospitals, University Hospitals Birmingham and the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, among others.
Medtronic, a medical device company that’s developed therapies and instruments to treat more than 30 chronic diseases, was also given funding. The American company was awarded nearly $3 million to accelerate the development of GI Genius, which analyzes colonoscopy images for colon cancer diagnosis. A 2021 study found that GI Genius could increase the detection of hard-to-detect precancerous polyps - small growths on the inner lining of the rectum - by up to 14.4%.
Mendelian, a digital health startup, received $1.67 million to evaluate electronic health records to identify patients with undiagnosed rare diseases. When rare diseases aren’t identified correctly, patients visit hospitals more than twice as much as regular patients, costing the NHS more than $4.5 billion.
The University of Bristol received over $2 million for Tommy’s App, software that creates a risk score for patients from data gathered at prenatal visits.
“The AI Award is helping to develop the clinical and economic evidence for AI technologies. We need to help build confidence among the NHS workforce that these technologies cannot only free up some of their time but safely support them in providing care for patients,” said Dominic Cushnan, director of AI, imaging and deployment at the NHS Transformation Directorate.
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