New AI Software That Can Detect Lung Cancer And Heart Disease Will Soon Be Available To NHS Hospitals


A research team from a hospital in Oxford have created artificial intelligence that can diagnose scans for lung cancer and heart disease.

The AI system will reportedly help in saving billions of dollars by helping to diagnose the diseases much earlier.

NHS hospitals can avail the technology for free, beginning summer 2018, and AI could help in saving the NHS.

"There is about £2.2bn spent on pathology services in the NHS. You may be able to reduce that by 50%,” said immunologist Sir John Bell. “AI may be the thing that saves the NHS"

The Artificial Intelligence System Can Make More Accurate Diagnosis Than Doctors

At present, cardiologists observe the heartbeat timing in scans to tell if there is something to worry about. However, even the most experienced medical practitioner can get the diagnosis wrong in one out of five cases. Subsequently, the patient can go back home and undergo a heart attack or they are put through an unnecessary surgery.

Now, the AI system, which researchers from the John Radcliffe Hospital developed, can diagnose heart scans more correctly and observe details that doctors overlook. The system can also give a recommendation where a positive indication means that the patient has a risk of getting a heart attack.

The AI system was tested in clinical experiments at six cardiology units. Cardiologist Paul Leeson, who helped develop the system, said that it performed better than his colleagues.

Currently, 60,000 heart scans are carried out by the NHS every year, and 12,000 of them are found to be misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis costs the NHS around 600 million pounds or about $813 million dollars in unnecessary surgery and treatment of patients who have heart attacks after so-called clear scans.

The results of the trial indicate that the new system could help in saving over 300 million pounds a year for the NHS.


The AI system, which is called Ultromics, was developed to narrow down on the various probabilities by inputting the scans of 1,000 people who were treated by Leeson over the course of seven years.

There is another system that is going to diagnosis lung cancer by observing large cell clumps known as nodules. Doctors have a tough time telling if they are harmless or have the potential of becoming cancerous.

Experts think that the lung cancer diagnosis system could help in saving 10 billion pounds if the US and the European Union adopt it. The system for diagnosing lung cancer is being commercialized by a company called Optellum.

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