By staff writers

September 13, 2017 -- Several leaders of the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) told attendees at a healthcare conference this week they see a major role for artificial intelligence (AI) in the health service and plan to invest to speed up its use, according to a 12 September article in the Guardian.

National medical director Sir Bruce Keogh told attendees at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester that the health system plans to devote an increasing portion of its budget on AI, especially on analyzing massive amounts of data from patients on their symptoms. He specifically mentioned radiology and pathology as potential clinical areas that AI could affect.

"It's possible that certain types -- and there are many different types of AI -- will be able to read x-rays. I've been told by people who are developing this sort of stuff that's within a four-year timeframe. We also know that this kind of approach can be used for reading histopathology slides," the Guardian quoted Keogh as saying.

NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens was quoted in the article as saying that AI could be used to automate "huge swathes" of the work load in radiology, as well as pathology and dermatology, leading to a shift in work from doctors to machines. And Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was quoted as saying AI could be "routinely diagnosing health conditions" before symptoms occur by 2028.

Copyright © 2017

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