New artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed in the UK can diagnose scans for heart disease and lung cancer.Hospitals in the NHS are expected to start using the heart disease system this summer.
Developed at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, the system is able to pick up details in the scans that doctors can’t see. It then flags when it believes the patient is at risk of having a heart attack.
According to BBC News, the Ultromics system was trained to identify potential problems by being given the scans of 1,000 patients who had been treated over the past seven years, along with information about whether they went on to have heart problems.
Professor Paul Leeson, a cardiologist who developed the system, said that clinical trials in six cardiology units indicate that it greatly outperforms heart specialists.
“As cardiologists, we accept that we don’t always get it right at the moment,” he said. “But now there is a possibility that may be able to do better.”
The trial results suggest that the AI system could save the NHS more than £300m a year.
Meanwhile, another AI system has been developed to look for signs of lung cancer.
Clinical trials of this system have shown that it can diagnose lung cancer much earlier, and can also rule out the harmless cases which are unlikely to go on to become cancerous.
As a result, as well as saving the NHS money, it could save patients several months of anxiety and give those who are diagnosed a greater chance of survival.