Hospitals embracing AI will receive extra cash to incentivise adoption

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The chief executive of the NHS in the UK has said hospitals will receive extra cash for replacing clinicians and embracing new technologies such as AI.

Simon Stevens says the plans are part of an initiative to improve patient outcomes and deliver savings. Stevens admits some jobs are at risk, as roles such as radiographers are replaced to achieve productivity targets set in return for the NHS’ £20 billion funding boost it was given last year.

“We are seeing an artificial intelligence revolution that will be a big part of our future over the next five years, with technologies that can cut the time that patients wait for scan results and ease the burden on hardworking staff,” he said.

“We want the NHS to be first out of the blocks.”

Stevens was speaking at the Reform Health Conference, where he pledged a range of measures to incentivise the uptake of AI in the NHS.

Two million important breast cancer screenings are carried out each year. The scans currently require two clinicians to review them, making it a slow and costly process. AI has been proven to have the potential to increase efficiency in such areas and ensure potentially lifesaving treatment is started earlier.

Similarly, Stevens mentioned the use of AI at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital which AI News has previously covered. The hospital’s tests found AI made the correct referral decision for more than 50 eye diseases with 94 percent accuracy.

Last year, the chief clinical information officer for health and care at the NHS said it’s time for technologies such as AI to be implemented.

“The [current] model of care is the 1948 model – the GP in the surgery, the community practice and district nurse in the car, the hospital with consultants and junior doctors in white coats,” said Simon Eccles. “We don’t use AI much in healthcare – and we should.”

Let’s just hope it goes better than the most recent costly adoption of AI in the NHS.

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