The AIMed-NHS AI Lab virtual conference has just ended. In the closing remark, Matthew Gould, Chief Executive Officer of NHSx, the digital unit of NHS said he was pleased to be part of a very productive and intensive conversations on artificial intelligence (AI) and healthcare. “I see the most fabulous momentum and opportunities to improve patient outcomes, patient safety, and the services that the NHS and social care give”. At the same time, Gould added he also see a lot of ways that AI can go wrong and the risks of under-delivering an enormous promise. “We need to pace ourselves and keep the public and profession’s trust with us”.
To achieve that, Gould believes in “putting in place a series of key building blocks”. Primarily, NHS ought to ensure a right ethical framework is in place. “Right, good, smart regulations can definitely be a friend of innovation. If we can set the parameters of good practice in the use of AI in health and care, I think it will give innovators, clinicians, and the public confidence about what is going on”. Besides, Gould believes in the need for constant iteration on what the NHS is doing and why AI is safe and how can the public health system ensure it is doing things the right way.
On top of which, Gould said it is equally important to have an effective route to scale AI and the right infrastructure and technical platform that will allow AI to work and flourish. Gould hope with the NHS AI Health and Care awards, innovators will be able to scale their solutions quicker and in turn, facilitate the creation of a buyers’ guide, “so that people who aren’t necessarily expert in AI but understand its potential use in therapeutically, can buy with confidence”.
Last but not least, Gould and his team’s priority for the rest of the financial year is to set up a project to join up care services to make health and case more close-knitted. Specifically, the whole country will have to share care records, put in place an increasing level of digital maturity in social care sector and deploy remote monitoring technologies that can be used out of formal care setting and be extended to individuals’ homes.
“The potential of AI to help in social care, increase level of efficiency and support is absolutely huge. I hope to see brilliant innovations in that space; I will like to see what we can do, not just therapeutically but also in non-clinical space to improve the efficiency of back-end operations. I think there’s massive opportunities there”.