UK Health Service to Open AI Lab

August 9, 2019 By IdeaConnection

UK Health AI LabThis week the UK government announced that it is giving £250 million (USD $300 million) to the National Health Service (NHS) for it to create a national artificial intelligence lab to enhance patient care and research.

The AI Lab will bring together leading academics, specialists and tech companies to work on some of today's biggest healthcare challenges such as cancer detection and new dementia treatments.

According to a press release announcing the lab, it would seek to tackle “some of the biggest challenges in health and care, including earlier cancer detection, new dementia treatments and more personalized care”.

Other areas of focus will include:

  • Improving cancer screening by speeding up the results of tests like brain scans and mammograms.
  • Identifying patients most at risk of diseases such as heart disease and dementia.
  • Identifying which patients could be better treated in the community.
  • Automating routine administration tasks so clinicians can spend more time with patients.
  • Create AI systems to detect people who could be at risk of post-operative complications such as infections.
  • Develop predictive models to better predict the future needs of beds, drugs and other resources.


“The power of artificial intelligence to improve medicine, to save lives, to improve the way treatments are done, that power is enormous,” Health Secretary, Matt Hancock told BBC News.

“I want the NHS, through its AI lab, to actually be searching itself for new insights that are going to save lives.”


There will be significant challenges to overcome. They include training staff, patient confidentiality and cybersecurity.

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