An American cardiologist will examine how tens of thousands of doctors and nurses in the UK could be trained to use artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

The British government announced today that Dr. Eric Topol will lead the review into how National Health Service (NHS) staff can be prepared to use fourth industrial revolution technologies.

Dr. Topol is a practicing cardiologist, professor of genomics, director of the Scripps Translation Science Institute in La Jolla and one of the top 10 most-cited researchers in medicine.

Dr. Eric Topol is a practicing cardiologist and leading researcher in Digital Medicine

He said: “While it’s hard to predict the future, we know AI, 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.”

Dr. Topol will look at opportunities for the NHS to invest in training and consider the implications on the skills required of future healthcare professionals.

He will begin with a visit to Moorfield’s Eye Hospital, a world leader in Ophthalmology based in London, so he can see first-hand their pioneering work on image recognition.

Moorfield’s Eye Hospital has partnered with Deep Mind, an AI company owned by Google, to see if algorithms can detect three of the most common and serious eye conditions: diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

Jeremy Hunt, a British Cabinet Minister and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “In the year of the NHS’ 70th birthday I want to empower staff to offer patients modern healthcare more widely and more quickly.

“I’m delighted that Dr Topol is kicking off this review – ensuring the NHS is at the forefront of life-saving, life-changing care across the globe for decades to come.”

Dr Eric Topol has met students on the CHOC Children’s Medical Intelligence and Innovation Institute (MI3) internship programme in the past. Read the full story here.