Twenty two new research projects

The UK Government recently announced financial support for twenty two new research projects that will explore how to develop and use AI in health.

The aim of these is to transform health using artificial intelligence (AI) to assist and refine diagnostics and procedures. The projects will involve universities stretching from Edinburgh to Surrey.

Support across the UK

UK universities will be supported by £13 million from UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund, previously announced in the Science and Technology Framework, to support AI innovation to accelerate health research.

This includes more than £500,000 for University College London’s (UCL) Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences. This initiative the early development of technology that could revolutionise surgery for one of the most common types of brain tumour.

The project will develop a real-time AI ‘assisted decision support framework’ to improve surgical outcomes, including avoiding complications following surgery and shortening recovery time for patients.

Funded projects

Other funded projects include those led by:

  • University of Sheffield: £463,000 to carry out an external validation of an approach that could lead to much wider, effective treatment of chronic nerve pain. This affects one in 10 adults over 30 to better detect early signs of inflammatory arthritis that could mean earlier, more effective treatment.
  • University of Oxford: £640,000 to accelerate research into a foundation AI model for clinical risk prediction that could determine the likelihood of future health problems based on an individual’s existing conditions.
  • Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh: £644,000 to develop a system that assists trainee surgeons to practice laparoscopy procedures, commonly known as keyhole surgery, with real-time feedback on their movements.
  • University of Surrey: £456,000 will see them work closely with radiologists to develop AI that improves the mammogram analysis process. This could allow radiologists to join the clinical force earlier in their careers, boosting the numbers of cancer specialists.

A full list of the new research projects announced is available on the UKRI news website.

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