U.K. govt. earmarks funds for imaging AI development

The U.K. government plans to spend 70 million pounds (79.1 million euros) to support the development of artificial intelligence (AI) for imaging applications. The investment is part of a more than 300 million pound (338.6 million euros) initiative to spur new technologies and industries aimed at meeting the challenge of an aging society.

As part of a 210 million pound (237 million euros) investment for a challenge promoting "data to early diagnosis and precision medicine," the U.K. government will create regional centers to offer U.K. patients better diagnosis using new technologies such as AI, according to the statement from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, as well as member of Parliament Greg Clark.

The government believes this investment, as well as future funding provided by industry, will support industry collaboration with the National Health Service (NHS) to help the nation "lead the world in digital pathology and radiology, including using AI to analyze medical images."

"Applying AI to medical images has the potential to diagnose disease more accurately and therefore provide more targeted treatment, and increase efficiency in the health system," the government wrote in the release.

Companies will be able to work with these centers to rapidly develop, test, and implement products and systems in partnership with physicians and academics, according to the release. The government believes this model will improve patient care and provide early evidence of real-world value of these products.

The 210 million pound investment from the U.K.'s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) will also feature an investment in genomics. The U.K. will sequence the genomes of 500,000 Biobank volunteers, and this data will serve as a resource for U.K. researchers to gain a greater understanding of disease processes and facilitate development of tools for early diagnosis and new therapies, according to the government.

In addition to the early diagnosis and precision medicine initiatives, the ISCF program will also invest 89 million pounds (100.5 million euros) to drive development of new products and services aimed at helping people live in their homes for longer, tackle loneliness, and increase independence and well-being, according to the government.

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