NHS considers AI-based therapy training for staff

The NHS has announced a review to investigate the training needs of NHS staff, so they have the skills to administer groundbreaking artificial intelligence and robotics-based treatments.

The independent review into how NHS staff can use artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics was announced by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

He said: “Every week we hear about exciting new developments surfacing in the NHS which could help provide answers to some of our greatest challenges such as cancer or chronic illness.

“These give us a glimpse of what the future of the whole NHS could be, which is why in the year of the NHS’s 70th birthday I want to empower staff to offer patients modern healthcare more widely and more quickly.”

The review, led by Dr Eric Topol an expert in cardiology, genetics and digital medicine, will focus on identifying areas whereby NHS staff would benefit from training.

As well as AI and robotics, Topol will look into technologies such as genomics and digital medicine. His first visit will be to London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital to learn how its AI technology analyses eye scans, which give eye care professionals an improved understanding of eye disease.

Dr Eric Topol

Topol said: “While it’s hard to predict the future, we know artificial intelligence, digital medicine and genomics will have an enormous impact for improving the efficiency and precision in healthcare.

“Our review will focus on the extraordinary opportunities to leverage these technologies for the healthcare workforce and power a sustainable and vibrant NHS.”

This coincides with a £1 billion deal put together by the government and industry to make AI a priority. More than 50 companies have invested in the project and the government has allocated at least £300 million to help make the UK the number one nation when it comes to the technology.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “The UK must be at the forefront of emerging technologies, pushing boundaries and harnessing innovation to change people’s lives for the better.”




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