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Artificial Intelligence to improve cancer diagnosis

23 May 2018

Artificial intelligence could stop 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033 by spotting the disease early, Theresa May is to say today.

Doing so will require much wider use of NHS data to generate the kind of machine-learning capable of detecting patterns that indicate disease and will prompt scrutiny of how records are used for such research.

According to Prime Minister Theresa May, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is soon to change the scene in cancer and other disease diagnosis.

Efforts to patch up the ethical holes have since been made, but there are still major concerns from both campaign groups and privacy experts about how companies should be given access to NHS data.

Although the figures are steadily improving, the United Kingdom has less good outcomes for common cancers such as bowel, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer, than most other comparable economies.

Campaigners blame funding shortages, but research by the King's Fund also found that hugely increased demand also played a key role in making it increasingly hard to meet targets. He said, "Our research shows that the United Kingdom lags behind the rest of Europe for five-year survival rates for many common cancers and is the worst in the European Union for lung cancer". AI implementation could also make up for the staff shortages causing delayed test results and diagnoses.

"Improving rates of early diagnosis will undoubtedly improve the outlook for cancer patients in the United Kingdom but it must be done alongside other important factors like making sure patients also have swift access to the newest and most innovative cancer treatments, including medicines".

Early intervention would provide less invasive, more affordable and more successful care than late intervention, which often fails, the government believes.

The plans set out by Mrs May form part of the Government's industrial strategy.

He added: "Advances in detection technologies depend on the intelligent use of data and have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives every year".

There are four Grand Challenges reflecting global trends.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: "There is promising evidence that using artificial intelligence to analyse MRI scans could spot early signs of heart disease which may be missed by current techniques".

The country put together a £1.4 billion investment-more than $1.8 billion-to further general AI development.

Artificial Intelligence to improve cancer diagnosis