New tech centres aim to save lives

New tech centres aim to save lives

Five new technology centres based across the UK will work on ways to save lives using artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies, it was announced today (6 November).

The centres in Leeds, Oxford, Coventry, Glasgow and London – but each with partners across many parts of the UK – will bring together doctors, businesses and academics to develop products using advances in digital technology to improve early diagnosis of disease, including cancer by detecting abnormalities.

The products developed at the new centres will offer more personalised treatment for patients while freeing up doctors to spend more time caring for patients. The investment in large-scale genomics and image analysis will drive new understanding of how complex diseases develop, in a proactive step to ensure people get the right treatment at the right time.

The £50 million funding for the centres will be through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the government’s flagship investment programme managed by UK Research and Innovation.

Professor Sir Mark Walport, UKRI Chief Executive, said: “Early diagnosis of illness can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment and save lives.

The centres announced today bring together the teams that will develop artificial intelligence tools that can analyse medical images varying from x-rays to microscopic sections from tissue biopsies. Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise the speed and accuracy of medical diagnosis.”

The centres will be spearheaded by some of the UK’s leading medical companies including GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips, Leica, Canon and Roche Diagnostics. The investment marks a significant step in delivering on a major commitment in the Life Sciences Sector Deal, which built on Sir John Bell’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.

The centres are:

London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value-Based Healthcare will use artificial intelligence in medical imaging and related clinical data for faster and earlier diagnosis and automating expensive and time-consuming manual reporting

Glasgow’s I-CAIRD (Industrial Centre for AI Research in Digital Diagnostics) will bring together clinicians, health planners, and industry to work with innovative SMEs to answer clinical questions, and solve healthcare challenges more quickly and efficiently

NCIMI (National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging) in Oxford will consider the role clinical imaging plays in the delivery of more personalised care and earlier diagnosis to support disease prevention and treatment

The Northern Pathology Imaging Collaborative (NPIC) located in Leeds will boost the city’s reputation in digital pathology research further by creating a world-leading centre linking up 9 industry partners, 8 universities and 9 NHS trusts

Based in Coventry, the Pathology image data Lake for Analytics, Knowledge and Education (PathLAKE) will use NHS pathology data to drive economic growth in health-related AI

The centres, which will be based at universities and NHS facilities, are expected to be up and running during 2019.

Read more on the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy website.