UK Prime Minister Theresa May Thinks A.I. Can Prevent Early-Stage Cancer

Prime Minister Theresa May challenged the National Health Service to use artificial intelligence to identify thousands of citizens afflicted by early-stage cancers.

David Nurieli
Read +
Follow Us

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has set a challenge to become a world leader in Artificial intelligence and use available data to assist in early stage diagnoses of cancer. Challenging the UK’s National Health Service, the Prime Minister believes that the industry should accelerate the use of Artificial intelligence in order to develop new techniques in early stage detection and prevention.

Using ‘smart technology to cross reference individual patient records including: personal habits, hereditary and genetic data. This data is then all centralised on a national database that would allow the technology to identify potential anomalies. This can help up to 50,000 people each year diagnosed with various forms of early stage cancers ranging from prostate, ovarian, lung or bowel cancer. Additionally, this could potentially reduce the death rate to 22,000 by 2033.

"Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the biggest causes of avoidable deaths," May will outline in a visit to Macclesfield. Using smart technology like Artificial intelligence provides greater analytical solutions, as well as, a significantly higher accuracy rate of detection and could establish a whole new approach to diagnosis and medical research.

In the UK, around £1.4 Billion has already been invested in research and development for the challenge. Theresa May’s challenge is designed to get the country to focus on the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which includes four 'Grand Challenges' to put the UK at the forefront of future technologies and industries. “Accelerating research using health data and artificial intelligence will build on the UK’s reputation for cutting-edge science, and lead to transformative improvements in treating patients within the NHS.” 

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research chief executive has added: "Earlier detection and diagnosis could fundamentally transform outcomes for people with cancer, as well as saving the NHS money. The UK must remain an attractive place for the life sciences industry to invest. If this platform unites Government, academia, the charity sector, and industry, we will be primed to accelerate innovation and lead the healthcare sector to new heights.”