Cancer screening, admin, freeing up beds: How could AI improve the NHS?

How could AI help improve the NHS? (Picture: Getty)

The Government has announced it is committing £250 million towards developing artificial intelligence to help improve the NHS.

Boris Johnson has said the extra funding will “boost the front line by automating admin tasks and freeing up staff to care for patients”.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean robots will be operating on you just yet, but AI could help work with data to analyse patients most at risk of certain diseases or help make things as efficient as possible to ease the pressure on stretched NHS staff.

AI is already being developed by some NHS trusts, such as Imperial College London to predict survival rates for ovarian cancer, and in University College Hospital to predict missed appointments and allow staff to follow up with targeted phone calls, saving between £2 and £3 per appointment.

The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) could help free up time for staff in the NHS (Picture: Getty)

So how could AI improve the NHS as a whole?

  • Faster cancer screening test results, including mammograms, brain scans, eye scans and heart monitoring.

  • Better estimates for future needs of beds, drugs, devices, or operations.

  • Help identifying those most at risk of diseases such as heart disease or dementia, thereby diagnosing problems earlier.

  • Working out which patients can access treatment in the community instead of in hospital.

  • Automating some routine admin tasks, freeing up clinicians’ time as well as upskilling NHS staff so they can use AI systems for day-to-day tasks.

  • Building systems to detect people at risk of post-operative complications, infections or requiring a follow-up from clinicians.

---Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK---