ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

New government partnership to improve early disease detection

A new £1.3 billion investment between the government and the Life Sciences Industry has been introduced to help drive early disease detection. It is hoped the high-value deal will provide support to businesses to fund high paid and quality jobs that encourage healthcare innovation.

A new £1.3 billion investment between the government and the Life Sciences Industry has been introduced to help drive early disease detection. It is hoped the high-value deal will provide support to businesses to fund high paid and quality jobs that encourage healthcare innovation.

The government has developed this partnership in the hope that tens of thousands of lives will be saved through pioneering research. The investment will focus on using artificial intelligence to create a new generation of healthcare treatments to deliver a leading national health programme.

As well as the announcement of a £1.3 billion investment for life sciences, the partnership also announced that there is a further £1 billion of funding from UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company. Their investment will fund research and development. Within this, UCB will develop a new state-of-the-art facility in the UK. This is a testament to the fact that the UK industry is leading innovation in healthcare.

Who will receive the funding?

One programme which will receive £79 million of government funding will be a study comprising of five million people and will develop diagnostic tests with artificial intelligence.  This programme, entitled Accelerating Detection of Disease, is included in the encompassing project of Life Science’s Sector Deal 2. Another project includes developing genomics.

The £1.3 billion funding from Deal 2 will come from both the private and public sector and will bring together ten companies as well as backing from numerous other organisations within the Life Sciences sector.

Professor Sir John Bell is leading the Accelerating Detection of Disease programme alongside the NHS and charities such as the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research and Alzheimer’s Research.  The programme will be part of the Early Diagnosis Mission which is a vital part of the AI and Data Grand Challenge within the Industrial Strategy.

Within the programme, researchers will conduct one of the largest data collections of healthy volunteers. The data will help researchers to identify changes and characteristics of individuals to help to determine how diseases develop. With the information from the study, it may help people to empower themselves to protect themselves from diseases. Ultimately, it may help people to stay healthier for longer.

The funding comes after experts predict that there could be 22,500 fewer deaths per year if late-stage diagnosis were halved across cancers such as lung, prostate, ovary and bowel.

Launching the Sector Deal, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “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.”

Other programmes with the Life Sciences Sector Deal include;

  • £30 million investment by Roche for rare cancer trials and genomic technology
  • £80 million investment from five gene therapy companies
  • £24 million from IQVIA for clinical trials.
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