The 70-year-old public health system in the UK – the National Health Service (NHS) may not be an early adopter of artificial intelligence (AI) and related new technologies, but it is definitely an accelerator. 

The many roadmaps 

UK’s enthusiasm in the area hastened in 2017, when the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport released The Digital Strategy policy paper, to outline a series of digital transformations about to take place in different sectors. In September the same year, the National Health Service (NHS) Chief Executive Simon Stevens said, “NHS England is to invest more in AI over the next 12 months and will roll out new regional patient data schemes”, to support the expansion of AI In UK healthcare. 

A year later, NHS England published Accelerating artificial intelligence in health and care with the AHSN Network and the Department of Health and Social Care to summarize the meaning of AI in healthcare and also detailed the increasing examples of AI being used in NHS. There was also the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme to help clinicians to venture into the digital space and embark on respective entrepreneurial activities which embrace new technologies. 

This January, the NHS Long Term Plan further elaborates on how “digitally-enabled care will go mainstream” within the NHS. This was closely followed by the opening of a new unit – NHSX, to shoulder the overall responsibilities ranging from drafting technology-related healthcare policies, establishing new digital standards, and ensuring safety and trustworthiness. Last week, the Department of Health announced NHS will receive a £250 million boost to set up a National AI Laboratory, to automate of administrative tasks, perform heart disease and dementia predictions, cancer screenings and so on, so that healthcare professionals will have more time with their patients. 

Moving too fast? 

Some people were concerned whether NHS is moving too fast as healthcare is not a space for Facebook’s former motto to, “move fast and break things”. It is also not a sector to push the boundaries and test regulations. At the moment, it is still unclear how patients’ data and privacy will be protected and utilized since NHS tends to partner with third-party technology companies to develop new solutions. 

All the more, there remains a gap between innovation and actual problems. Most of the time, the industry will adopt a new approach to target a particular set of problems. However, there is often not enough considerations for these solution-based technologies to scale up. Staff burnout, high patient demands, and an aging population are some of the pressing challenges that NHS faced presently. How and when technology is able to systematically overcome these are still in question. 

As such, AIMed will kick start AIMed Europe 2019 with the UK and see how AI is rejuvenating its public health system but at the same time, also giving it new challenges. 

Session Focus: Transforming clinical innovation – an update on NHS England’s AI, digital and clinical entrepreneurship programs 
When: Tuesday, September 17th2019 (13:10 – 13:45) 

The AIMed Europe 2019 opening keynote session presented by Dr. Tony Young, National Clinical Lead for Innovation, NHS England. 

Attendees will gain the following knowledge: 

Learn, in a thorough manner, NHS England’s effort to go paperless and whether the current infrastructures and resources are able to sustain the transformations. 

Insight into some of the challenges and milestones that the public health system faced while introducing and adopting innovations. 

Review some of the present strategies and policies and how they will impact on what is about to come. 

Benefit from an insider’s perspectives and active exchanges among the audience during Question & Answer time. 

Do not miss this event. Book now on AIMed Europe 2019 official site, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram to check out the latest promotion and delegate discount. A more detailed AIMed Europe 2019 agenda can be found here.

Author Bio
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Hazel Tang

A science writer with data background and an interest in the current affair, culture, and arts; a no-med from an (almost) all-med family. Follow on Twitter.