As part of its second Life Sciences Sector Deal, the government intends to invest £1.3 billion in detecting illnesses beforehand by leveraging on artificial intelligence.
The Accelerating Detection of Disease initiative has been identified as part of the government’s deal, which includes the backing of both public and private money.
The programme, which is currently under the leadership of Professor Sir John Bell, is expected to bring together the National Health Service (NHS), and top charities like the Alzheimer’s Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
Supported by £79 million from government funding, the Accelerating Detection of Disease programme looks forward to studying five million healthy individuals with the intention of coming up with novel diagnostic tests by using artificial intelligence(AI).
Sir Bell said that “This Sector Deal is another major step forward for the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy in the UK. It has been hugely enabled by government and will initiate new projects that will be a magnet for further investment.
“Together, industry, charities, government, and the NHS can tackle some of the major challenges to healthcare systems, including ageing and early diagnostics and, in doing so, can grow the economy and demonstrate what a modern Industrial Strategy looks like in action.”
The second Life Sciences Sector Deal, which draws together 10 firms and is supported by a variety of organizations across the industry, includes over £1.3 billion-worth of investment between the private and public sectors.
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The investment consists £1 billion drawn from the biopharmaceutical firm UCB and another £30 million investment in the United Kingdom by healthcare firm Roche.
About £20 million of the investment received from Roche is anticipated to be invested in a precision cancer research tie-up with the Manchester-based Christie NHS Foundation Trust over a span of three years.
The partnership will include the use of big data and genomic technology in expediting the next breed of digital clinical trials, particularly for rare cancers.
Health secretary Matt Hancock asserted that “I want the UK to have the most advanced health and care system on the planet. Technology and artificial intelligence have the potential to revolutionise healthcare by unlocking the next generation of treatments, diagnosing diseases before symptoms appear and helping patients take greater control of their own health.
“Our world-leading plans to map 100,000 genomes is just one example of how innovation can deliver life-changing results for patients, and we want to build on its success to provide patients with truly personalised care.”
The initial Life Sciences Sector Deal by the government was announced back in December 2017 and comprised an artificial intelligence programme aimed at developing both radiology and digital pathology systems that could ultimately be applied across the National Health Services (NHS).
Through the Life Sciences Sector Deals, the government intends to make sure that all the new pioneering medical technologies and treatments are developed in the United Kingdom, driving economic growth and boosting patient lives.
Both deals (the first and second) involve significant investment from charitable and private sectors as well as considerable research and development commitments from the government.