One of the foremost technology experts for health at Microsoft briefed the UK Health secretary on the positive impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) could have for healthcare.
Cambridge-based Microsoft Research Director for Academic Health and AI Partnerships, Dr Kenji Takeda, explained to members of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on heart and Circulatory Diseases, that he believed a crucial use of AI was aiding the UK’s medical sector.
At a recent APPG event held at the Houses of Parliament, Takeda met with Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and British Heart Foundation Chief Executive Simon Gillespie, among other officials.
APPG findings via reports and surveys
An APPG report revealed seven million individuals with existing diseases of the heart and circulatory system are living within the UK. These conditions, which include vascular dementia and coronary heart disease, have been discovered to be the cause of one in four UK deaths. The report identified that AI possessed a vast potential to improve these individuals lives, but also a need for more discussions about developing and adopting new technology.
An APPG survey revealed that the UK is supportive of the increased use of technology within the medical sector, with a strong 85% favouring treatment and diagnostics that utilise AI. In order to work towards more efficient diagnosis, 86% of those asked stated they would be happy for their data to be shared anonymously.
Making the best use of time
Takeda suggested a way in which technology could assist was in enabling doctors to increase the time they spend with patients. He argued:
“We need to make sure that we’re making the best use of technology … and giving clinicians the time to really focus on patients. It’s what people deserve. Technology has to help deliver that.”
Takeda highlighted the EmpowerMD Microsoft Project, an AI system that records doctor-patient conversations and combines them with electronic patient health records through synthesising information relevant into the appropriate sections included in a medical note. With less time spent revising their notes and records, doctors are afforded more to spend with their patients.
“To truly revolutionise healthcare, data that’s currently locked away in single departments, systems, surgeries and hospitals, needs to be shared among medical professionals. This requires data interoperability, and decision-makers in the NHS to adopt cloud computing as the secure digital platform so staff and researchers can act on information in real-time.”
A working example of such technology in action is the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources’ (FHIR) Azure API preview, which is currently being utilised on projects backed by the support of Health Data Research UK to optimise clinical data. The research of rare disease undertaken by NIHR BioResource via a cloud–centric integration project is another instance of this technology assisting the health sector.
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