The AI tools to be deployed will help NHS staff to analyse X-rays and CT scans

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that 64 NHS trusts across England are set to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) tools to speed up the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

Following the UK government's announcement of £21m to roll out AI across the NHS in June, the funding will allow NHS trusts to deploy AI tools that analyse X-rays and CT scans.

The funding will ensure that NHS hospitals across England will receive “ground-breaking” AI tools this winter to ensure clinicians can diagnose lung cancer more effectively, the DHSC said.

With over 600,000 chest X-rays being performed in England every month, deploying AI tools to more NHS trusts will support clinicians to diagnose conditions more quickly and accurately.

The trusts set to receive a share of the funding include West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

AI tools are currently live in over 90% of stroke networks in England and have had a positive impact on outcomes for patients by halving waiting times for treatment.

“We’re building on this success to make sure lung cancer patients get the support they need, when they need it,” said health and social care secretary Steve Barclay.

Additionally, Barclay hosted a roundtable with NHS trusts, industry leaders and health officials to determine ways of speeding up the deployment of AI in health and social care.

Approximately £123m has already been invested by the government to support 86 AI technologies to support stroke diagnosis, screening, cardiovascular monitoring and managing conditions at home.

Most recently, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency launched AI-Airlock, a new regulatory sandbox for AI developers.

The new system, which will be open for products in April 2024, will allow advanced AI technologies to be used in NHS settings ahead of regulatory approval, allowing patients to benefit earlier.