Reports show that AI can transform UK healthcare

Reports show that AI can transform UK healthcare
Microsoft health expert says the technology could also give doctors more time with patients

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Artificial intelligence (AI) could transform UK healthcare, according to the results of a survey and report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Heart and Circulatory Diseases. 

Kenji Takeda, director of Academic Health and AI Partnerships at Microsoft Research in Cambridge suggests the technology will give doctors more time with patients. 

“For every hour spent with patients, physicians may spend two additional hours documenting clinical interactions,” he said. “At Microsoft, we’re committed to empowering people on the frontline of healthcare to help them deliver the best care they can. But we also want to empower patients too because all of us touch the healthcare system at different points – a local pharmacy, our GP surgery, a hospital and at home. We need to make sure that we’re making the best use of technology…and giving clinicians the time to really focus on patients.”

According to a recent Microsoft article by Esat Dedezade, managing editor of Microsoft News Centre Europe, the survey found that 85% of respondents back the use of AI in diagnostics and treatment and 86% were happy for their anonymised health data to be shared to better diagnose medical conditions.

These findings were shared at an APPG event at the Houses of Parliament, at which Takeda highlighted a Microsoft project called EmpowerMD. The clinical intelligence system captures conversations between doctors and patients and integrates it with a patient’s electronic health records. This allows doctors to spend more time helping patients and less time updating medical notes.

“The power of AI and machine learning can really make a difference in the UK by putting people at the centre,” said Takeda. “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.”

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