In response to the launch of a new Artificial Intelligence Award for health and care, Dr Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said:
‘We welcome the government’s investment to accelerate the use of AI and technology in health and care, in particular its focus on exploring the problems and solutions identified by the NHS. Innovation should be focused on addressing the key challenges facing the NHS and where technology can make the biggest difference.
‘AI and data-driven technology have the potential to transform our health and health care, by helping to detect disease much earlier, move care closer to home and encourage health promoting behaviours. But while many of the impacts are positive, we also need to think carefully about the risks. Technology and AI can also exacerbate health inequalities, and increase demand for an overstretched health and social care system. To get this right, and realise the benefits that technology can bring, evaluation is key. Robust evaluation will help ensure that technologies shown to be effective can be spread further, and patients protected from any potential harm.
‘The implementation of any new technologies also needs to be matched by careful consideration of the very human environment of the NHS, so patients and staff alike will need to be supported to adopt these new technologies. Ultimately, we need to ensure the impacts of analytics and data-driven technology deliver long lasting benefits for everyone across the UK.’