NHS aims to be a world leader in AI

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has urged technology firms to help the health service become a world leader in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Speaking recently at the Reform Health Conference, Stevens announced a global call for evidence from technologists for how the NHS can best incentivise the use of carefully targeted AI across the NHS from April 2020 and beyond.

As such, tech innovators were challenged to come forward with proposals for how the NHS can harness innovative solutions that can free up staff time and cut the time patients wait for results.

It is hoped that exploiting the boom in AI technology will help to meet the NHS Long Term Plan’s target of making up to 30 million outpatient appointments unnecessary, saving over £1 billion in what would have been increasing outpatient visits which can then be reinvested in front line care, saving patients unnecessary journeys to hospitals.

Stevens said: “As part of the NHS Long Term Plan we are going to be using new technologies and treatments to improve patient care and save more lives. We are seeing an artificial intelligence revolution that will be a big part of our future over the next five years, with technologies that can cut the time patients wait for scan results and ease the burden on hard working staff.

“We want the NHS to be first out of the blocks, so from April next year we propose to change the way we fund care so that NHS organisations who invest in this world-leading technology will be properly rewarded for doing so. We’re therefore kicking off a global ‘call for evidence’ for NHS staff and technology innovators to come forward with their best ideas for how we should adjust our financial frameworks to best incentivise the use of safe and evidence-based AI and machine learning technologies across the NHS.”

At the same conference, Stevens also asked staff to work with us and share ideas on reforms to the payment systems that would help encourage and facilitate quicker adoption and expansion. The technology can help speed up diagnosis of cancer and other diseases and deliver more convenient care by revolutionising outpatient services.

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