NEWS15 August 2023

UKRI invests £13m in AI healthcare research projects

AI Healthcare News Public Sector UK

UK – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has provided £13m to 22 projects seeking to use artificial intelligence (AI) to transform healthcare.

stethoscope on top of medical report

The funding comes from UKRI’s Technology Missions Fund, previously announced in the UK government’s science and technology framework, to support AI innovation to accelerate health research.

The funding will be used by a number of universities, including £500,000 to University College London’s (UCL) Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences to use AI to help improve surgical outcomes for brain tumours.

The University of Sheffield has received £463,000 to carry out an external validation of an approach that could lead to much wider, effective treatment of chronic nerve pain.

The University of Oxford has been granted £640,000 for research into a foundation AI model for clinical risk prediction to help determine the likelihood of future health problems based on an individual’s existing conditions.

Other projects to receive funding include £644,000 to Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh to develop a system that assists trainee surgeons to keyhole surgery and £456,000 to the University of Surrey to develop AI that improves the mammogram analysis process.

Dr Kedar Pandya, executive director, cross-council programmes at UKRI, said: “The potential for AI to accelerate and improve all aspects of our health is vast.

“The UK is in a strong position in this field but with a range of challenges across many aspects of society, including the healthcare system, novel solutions are needed.

“That is why UKRI is investing in these projects in order to advance our research and improve health diagnostics and outcomes.”

Secretary of state for science and technology Michelle Donelan added: “AI will revolutionise the way we live, including our healthcare system.

“That’s why we’re backing the UK’s fantastic innovators to save lives by boosting the frontline of our NHS and tackling the major health challenges of our time.”