Applications for the second round of the AI in Health and Care Award open

AI in Health and Care Award
© Vasile Bobirnac

The NHS has announced that applications for the second round of the AI in Health and Care Award are now open

Applications looking for the best AI products that could help meet the objectives of the NHS Long Term plan haven now opened.

Technology companies, researchers and developers are now able to bid for funding to help develop and test their artificial intelligence and machine learning products safely in the NHS.

The award is managed by the Accelerated Access Collaborative in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Applications are encouraged for Phases 3 and 4 in the following areas:

  • Triage
  • Screening
  • Imaging
  • Intelligent operational automation

Phase 3 – to support the first real-world tests in health and social care settings of AI products or tools to develop evidence of efficacy and preliminary proof of effectiveness, including evidence for routes to implementation to enable rapid adoption.

Phase 4 – to support the spread of AI products or tools that have market authorisation but insufficient evidence to merit large-scale commissioning or deployment. Successful products will be adopted in a number of NHS sites to stress test and evaluate the AI technology within routine clinical or operational pathways to determine efficacy or accuracy, and clinical and economic impact.

Indra Joshi, director of AI at NHSX, said:

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning have enormous potential in healthcare. This award will help us harness the enormous range of innovation in AI so the NHS can be a world leader in the use and deployment of these cutting edge technologies.

“Before we can roll out these new devices or processes, the award will enable us to test and evaluate them so we can make sure they deliver the expected benefits to staff and patients.

“We had a huge amount of interest in the first round of the AI in Health and Care Award and, once again we would encourage all those who have an AI tool or product they think could help the NHS to apply now.”

Matt Whitty, chief executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative and director of innovation, research and life sciences at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said:

“There is a huge amount of innovation and research ongoing in the field of AI at the moment and this award is an excellent opportunity for the NHS to test and deploy the best solutions available.

“We don’t just want to hear about finished products, the award is also designed to support those in the early stages of development who need a bit of extra help.”

First-round winners set to be tested in the NHS include a phone app that could help detect early kidney disease in urine samples of diabetic patients, an algorithm that could remove the need for the second human reader to assess breast cancer screening scans, and a computer software platform that uses AI to help detect early lung cancer.

The AI in Health and Care Award will distribute £140 million over three years, with the second round of applications closing at 1 pm on December 8th.


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