Competition launched to create network of digital pathology and imaging centres using Artificial Intelligence

Up to six centres using Artificial Intelligence will be created to drive health and care research in the UK with the help of a £50m competition.


[London, UK] The government has launched a £50m competition to create a network of up to six digital pathology and imaging centres that will use advanced digital technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, to develop cutting-edge diagnostic tools and treatments, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine challenge.

According to Health Data Research UK (HDR-UK), successful applicants will work with a variety of companies, with a focus on SMEs. 

It is expected that investment in genomics, combined with image analysis and existing data from the health service, will drive new research and understanding of complex diseases.

Professor Andrew Morris, HDR-UK Director, said the opportunities to apply AI to radiology and pathology data were ‘endless’:

“This funding provides the UK with an opportunity to harness the tremendous expertise we have in digital pathology and radiology across the NHS, our universities and industry to help transform the way we understand and treat disease."

The new centres will work closely with the Digital Innovation Hub programme, led by HDR-UK, that will allow the industry to access data from the health service in a bid to develop innovative solutions and treatments to diagnose diseases such as cancer or asthma earlier by using real-world evidence, as reported by BJ-HC last week.

“We will work in partnership with the successful Centres, by supporting their integration into the future Digital Innovation Hubs.

“This will ensure that best practice is widely shared and in a secure and trustworthy way to power research and innovation at scale.

“Our aim is to enable as many patients as possible to benefit from scientific breakthroughs much faster,” Professor Morris added. 

The competition, which will end at the beginning of August, is open to organisations from the NHS, academia and the industry.

Related content:

Health Data Research UK to lead delivery of Digital Innovation Hubs programme

Leontina Postelnicu

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