AI technology to help cut cancer waiting lists

Cancer waiting times are set to fall thanks to new AI technology that locates cancer cells 2.5 times quicker than doctors alone.

Listen to 'AI technology to help cut cancer waiting lists'

Game-changing AI will start being rolled out to every NHS radiotherapy department in England in a matter of weeks. The funding is a major step aimed towards cutting NHS waiting lists, relieving pressure on hospitals, freeing up staff time, and support people in care settings to live more independently.

Dr Imogen LockeDr Imogen Locke, national speciality adviser for radiotherapy at NHS England said: 

The NHS is embracing AI and its benefits for cancer patients and every radiotherapy department will soon be able to offer the latest technology to help diagnose and treat patients more quickly.  We are seeing a record number of referrals for suspected cancer, and game-changing tools like AI will help the NHS continue the significant progress made in tackling the longest waits for patients.

The AI tool works by automatically reviewing a CT or MRI scan, helping doctors quickly distinguish between cancerous cells and healthy organs and to prevent healthy organs from being damaged during radiation treatment.

Trained health workers will review any report before administering any treatment, helping tens of thousands of cancer patients each year get faster treatment.

The UK is said to be at the forefront of embedding AI into the healthcare system, with it already being used in 90% of stroke units in England, speeding up diagnosis and treatment.

This comes as the Prime Minister speaks at the AI Seoul Summit building on the global momentum that Bletchley kickstarted, it will look at ways to harness the potential of AI to help humanity and advance global cooperation on AI safety.

Victoria Atkins Minister Afghan ResettlementHealth and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said:

This is an exciting breakthrough in our work to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment, and AI is helping to make our healthcare system faster, simpler and fairer. 

Thanks to such innovation, as well as our measures to help people quit smoking, and our work to grow the number of doctors in clinical oncology and radiology by a quarter since 2019, I’m pleased to say survival rates across almost all types of cancer are improving.

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