26th Jun, 2022

AI funding boost aims to speed up cancer diagnoses

Local Pathology services set to receive £13.5 million Government funding boost to speed up the diagnosis of deadly diseases.

A major £13.5 million funding boost is set to further enhance Pathology services at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust and speed up the diagnosis of deadly diseases such as Cancer.

The PathLAKE (Pathology Image Data Lake for Analytics Knowledge and Education) Centre, based at University Hospital in Coventry, has been named as one of three centres set to receive a cash injection from the Government following its work in Digital Pathology, a process where patient samples are digitally scanned to create detailed images.

Patients will benefit from earlier and more accurate diagnosis of diseases as a result of improvements in technology, with crucial Pathology and Imaging services, including Radiology, able to provide more personalised treatment for patients, free up clinicians’ time and ultimately save lives.

Evelyn Waddell, Patient and Public Involvement member of the PathLAKE project, said: “What is significant about PathLAKE is that it uses AI to reflect the changing landscape in Pathology to revolutionise diagnostics which will work to improve patient outcomes in the future.

“This will give patients a faster and more accurate diagnosis at a time when it’s needed and this can only be a positive for patients.”

The funding boost forms part of a Government initiative to invest an extra £50 million in technology centres across the country to bolster the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in Pathology.

Professor Kiran Patel, Chief Medical Officer and Interim Chief Executive for UHCW NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding, which will further increase access to a vast amount of image information and drive diagnostic evaluation to new heights.

“As a Trust we’re excited to be playing a major part in helping the UK to take a leading role in the development and delivery of these new technologies to improve patient outcomes and enhance our understanding and utilisation of clinical information.

“The knowledge PathLAKE will unlock, both in the short and long-term future, will completely transform cancer care in the NHS while embedding a world-leading life-sciences and technology sector across our health system.”

PathLAKE is one of only five Centres of Excellence across the UK using AI to increase the efficiency of Pathology reporting by using Digital Pathology, with developments including the world’s first automated colon biopsy reporting tool.

UHCW NHS Trust will be sharing its learnings with healthcare, academic and industry partners from Belfast, Nottingham, Oxford and Warwick, alongside laboratories across the country.

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