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NHS to set up AI development lab

(Image credit: Image Credit: Lightpoet / Shutterstock)

The NHS is building up a national artificial intelligence (AI) lab, with the goal of improving patient care (opens in new tab) and opening new research avenues.

Announcing the plan, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said AI has “enormous power” to boost patient care, save lives and make sure doctors aren’t overwhelmed with repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

He also said the government would be spending roughly $302m on the project. A more detailed timeframe of the spending was not disclosed.

"The power of artificial intelligence to improve medicine (opens in new tab), to save lives, to improve the way treatments are done, that power is enormous," Mr Hancock told BBC News. “In this country, we've got the opportunity to be one of the leading countries in the world at using this new technology. I want the NHS, through its AI lab, to actually be searching itself for new insights that are going to save lives.”

Artificial intelligence has huge potential in the healthcare industry (opens in new tab), from freeing up more time for doctors to spend on patients, to better diagnosing, to security and data management.

However, there are a few challenges that need to be addressed. Staff will need to be trained to know how to use this new technology to its full potential. Cybersecurity, as well as patient confidentiality, will all need to be properly addressed, to make sure patients aren’t exposed to unnecessary risks.

More details about the AI lab can be found on this link (opens in new tab).

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.