A pioneering AI platform that can predict heart disease will be implemented in NHS hospitals as part of the government’s policy to fast track world-leading artificial intelligence systems in the UK.
The platform, called EchoGo, uses machine learning algorithms to analyse ultrasound scans of the heart. This enables doctors to diagnose heart disease more efficiently and prevent heart attacks.
EchoGo has been developed by Ultromics, a world-leading cardiac health-tech company based in Oxford. The company was co-founded by CEO Ross Upton during his PhD studies at the University of Oxford, and Dr Paul Leeson, Ultromics’ CMO, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford, and Head of the Oxford Cardiovascular Clinical Research Facility. Ultromics was spun out of the University in 2017.
The company has today been announced by the NHS as one of the first winners of an AI in Health and Care Award and will receive a share of the funding totalling over £50m.
Dr Ross Upton
Dr Ross Upton, co-founder and CEO of Ultromics said: “AI can both help protect and transform the NHS. Post COVID-19, it has become even more evident that the NHS needs to find new ways of working. This initiative embraces the potential offered by AI to ease current difficulties in healthcare delivery with more accurate and faster diagnosis, and to significantly improve patient care and outcomes.”
Sir Simon Stevens
Announcing the awards, Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, said: “The NHS has and always will rely first and foremost on the clinical expertise of our staff, but the innovations we’re funding today have the potential to save lives by improving screening, cancer treatment and stroke care for NHS patients across the country.”
“We’re still in the early stages of AI, but when the latest chapter in the history of medicine comes to be written, AI in health care will doubtless rank alongside earlier advances such as the stethoscope, the X ray and the blood test.”
The NHS has identified 42 technologies to test in four phases of development, with EchoGo uniquely selected in both Phases 3 and 4, which are focused on technologies closest to market roll-out and scaling-up for full adoption by health providers.
The NHS is committed to becoming a world leader in the use of AI and its AI Lab, announced by the Prime Minister last year, is a key part of the health services’ efforts to drive-up the use of innovative new technologies.
You can read the full award announcement on the NHSX website.
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