UK patients with diabetes and high blood pressure are set to benefit from AI technology that turns a smartphone camera into a clinical-grade tool which can detect early kidney disease.
NHSX is supporting Healthy.io to offer 500,000 patients technology-supported home-testing kits over the next 3 years with more than 3,500 patients having already received their kits.
Patients taking part receive a simple test kit and smartphone app that allows them to test, scan and transmit their results to their GP within minutes, without leaving home.
The technology developed by Healthy.io essentially turns patients’ smartphone cameras into medical devices – analysing testing images and producing results regardless of lighting conditions, setting or camera type.
“Artificial intelligence holds enormous potential for the NHS and in many areas is already providing radical benefits for patients and clinicians,” said Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX. “The use of this latest testing technology is another huge step forward enabling us to provide earlier diagnosis of disease and improve patient care and treatment outcomes while also freeing up NHS staff.”
Healthy.io’s technology is one of 42 innovations that are being supported by the first round of the AI in Health and Care Award programme, managed by the Accelerated Access Collaborative in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research.
It will be tested and evaluated over a 3-year period to explore its benefits at scale before a potential roll-out across the NHS.
Katherine Ward, chief commercial Officer and managing director of UK and Europe at Healthy.io, added: “Chronic kidney disease is a silent killer and has a major impact on society, yet very few people are aware of its dangers. Early detection of the disease from the comfort of home will help people avoid dialysis or transplant and will be a huge cost saving for the NHS.”