AI to cut cancer deaths by 22,000 a year

23 May 2018 08:39

Artificial intelligence will be developed to cross-reference medical records and help spot cancer at its earliest stages

Artificial intelligence will be developed to cross-reference medical records and help spot cancer at its earliest stages

Theresa May is to give a speech explaining how artificial intelligence will be used to help prevent 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033.

Artificial intelligence will be developed to cross-reference medical records, patient information and national data to help spot cancer at its earliest stages.

The Prime Minister will also pledge to support people maintaining good health for an extra five years.

New armoury in the fight against cancer

Mrs May will deliver her speech in Macclesfield, Cheshire, about the new efforts being made to treat illnesses where late diagnosis often leads to "avoidable deaths".

She will outline the new potential for developing and using smart technologies to "analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings".

"Achieving this mission will not only save thousands of lives, it will incubate a whole new industry around AI-in-healthcare, creating high-skilled science jobs across the country, drawing on existing centres of excellence in places like Edinburgh, Oxford and Leeds - and helping to grow new ones."

Earlier diagnosis

At least 50,000 people each year with prostate, ovarian, lung or bowel cancer will be diagnosed at an earlier stage than they would have been, according to Mrs May.

The PM will also announce another target to ensure that five more years of people's lives will be healthy, independent and active by 2035.

Older workers who want to remain in their jobs will be given support to make that happen under the plan and there will be improvements in public health and social care.

Around £1.4 billion has already been invested in research and development for the "grand challenges" programme the targets are being set under.

Chief executive officer of Cancer Research Sir Harpal Kumar said that if the changes cut late diagnosis by half in the next 15 years, 22,000 fewer people with lung, bowel, prostate and ovarian cancers would die within five years of their diagnosis.

He added: "Earlier detection and diagnosis could fundamentally transform outcomes for people with cancer, as well as saving the NHS money.

"We need to ensure we have the right infrastructure, embedded in our health system, to make this possible."

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