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AI and the NHS: Forging a Healthy Future

techUK teamed up with DeepMind to host a panel discussion on the fusion of AI and healthcare in the UK.

This Wednesday, techUK and DeepMind brought together some of the UK’s foremost minds from across the health sector to discuss how radically different, technology-based models of healthcare could be accelerated through the enhanced adoption and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI).

Coinciding with London tech week and the AI Summit, the event provided a fantastic opportunity for attendees to gain a greater understanding of the current AI landscape and its transformative potential in health.

Primarily, the event served to highlight how the use of AI in healthcare could enhance general purpose technologies already in use, such as diagnostic and therapeutic tools, yet also covered emerging and transformative use cases, such as AI-enabled drug discovery, genomics, medical imaging, precision medicine and disease deterioration detection.

More generally, panelists highlighted that AI is set to facilitate a long-term transition from reactive to preventative healthcare models, through enabling patients and clinicians alike to better understand what needs to be done in order to secure a healthy future.

Drawing on the rich pool of talent represented on the panel, with guest speakers from IBM, DeepMind, NHS England, NHSX and Babylon Health, discussion then turned to the barriers currently inhibiting the adoption and deployment of AI in healthcare.

The panel highlighted that success in this domain will be dependent on numerous success factors, not least the urgent need for rich, highly curated data. Building on this assertion, the panel touched on the urgent need for infrastructure investment into common interoperable systems that facilitate data sharing and, ultimately, the implementation of AI. Similarly, the panel communicated the importance of building networks of trust between those implementing AI and those directly affected, placing emphasis on the need to develop positive, evidence-based narratives. Furthermore, the panel alluded to the fact that the success of AI projects across the UK’s health sector will ultimately depend on the development and implementation of clear ethical guidelines that support and reward responsible innovation. Finally, the panel pointed out the need for investment in the skills base of all healthcare actors, recognising the importance of ensuring that people are equipped to understand, interrogate and act upon insights delivered through the application of AI.

Following on from this fascinating and engaging discussion, the panelists sketched out a promising picture for the future of AI in the UK’s health sector, indicating that partnerships between academia, industry and technologists will be key to driving innovative AI-enabled healthcare solutions in the future.

For more information on the event itself, or the work that techUK is doing to radically transform the UK’s healthcare delivery model, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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