Boris Johnson has announced that £250 million will be spent on a new National Artificial Intelligence Lab that will “spot deadly signs of dementia” and allow for more patients to be cared for at home.
The prime minister claimed the AI lab would identify patients most as risk of dementia and other diseases, allowing for early diagnosis, and recognise which patients could be more easily treated in the community.
The lab will harness AI to better estimate future needs of beds, drugs, devices or surgeries, and build systems to detect people at risk of post-operative complications, reducing readmission rates.
Boris Johnson said the NHS is “leading the way” in harnessing new technology to treat and prevent, “from earlier cancer detection to spotting the deadly signs of dementia”.
“Today’s funding is not just about the future of care though. It will also boost the frontline by automating admin tasks and freeing up staff to care for patients,” he said.
“My task is to ensure the NHS has the funding it needs to make a real difference to the lives of staff and patients. Transforming care through artificial intelligence is a perfect illustration of that.”
Health and Social Care secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are on the cusp of a huge health tech revolution that could transform patient experience by making the NHS a truly predictive, preventive and personalised health and care service.
“I am determined to bring the benefits of technology to patients and staff, so the impact of our NHS Long Term Plan and this immediate, multimillion pound cash injection are felt by all. It’s part of our mission to make the NHS the best it can be.”
The lab will sit within NHSX, the new organisation that will oversee the digitisation of the health and care system, in partnership with the Accelerated Access Collaborative.
The government said the £250m investment will support the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan, which includes pledges to use AI to help clinicians eliminate variations in care.