Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to make a significant difference to health and care. A broad range of techniques can be used to create Artificially Intelligent Systems (AIS) to carry out or augment health and care tasks that have until now been completed by humans, or have not been possible previously; these techniques include inductive logic programming, robotic process automation, natural language processing, computer vision, neural networks and distributed artificial intelligence. These technologies present significant opportunities for keeping people healthy, improving care, saving lives and saving money for the pilot digital technologies. It could help personalised NHS screening and treatments for cancer, eye disease and a range of other conditions, for example. Furthermore, it’s not just patients who can benefit.
AI can also support clinicians, enabling them to make the best use of their expertise, informing their decisions and saving them time. This report gives a considered and cohesive overview of the current state of play of data-driven technologies within the health and care system, covering everything from the local research environment to international frameworks in development. Informed by research conducted by NHSX and other partners over the past year, it outlines where in the system AI technologies can be utilised and the policy work that is, and will need to be done, to ensure this utilisation is done in a safe, effective and ethically acceptable manner. Specifically: Chapters 1 and 2 set the scene. They provide an overview of what AI is (and importantly is not), why we believe it is important, and a detailed look at what is currently being developed by the AI ecosystem by evaluating the results of a horizon scanning exercise and our second ‘State of the Nation’ survey. This analysis reveals that diagnosis and screening are the most common uses of AI, with 132 different AI products identified being designed for diagnosis or screening purposes covering 70 different conditions