The NHS may have been at the heart of the General Election debate but it is already attempting to alleviate the pressure on its workforce through the widescale adoption of artificial intelligence and robotics to change the way health professionals care for patients, diagnose illnesses and manage paperwork.
According to a new report by NetApp, based on a Freedom of Information request, out of the 61 NHS Trusts that responded, more than half (52%) have already deployed AI technologies and are using them for clinical care (20%) and patient diagnosis (16%).
One in six said they are planning to roll out AI within the next two years, and three quarters have already brought in an AI leader.
At the moment, NHS Trusts are mostly focused on speech recognition (28%), robotic process automation (25%) and machine learning (13%), as these tools ease the pressure healthcare workers face on a daily basis. They can also improve patient care, as well as speed up the delivery of personalised medicine.
But the Trusts do also recognise concerns about ethics and patient data security, with more than half (59%) having already reviewed, or planning to review, the governance policies for patient data.
NetApp chief executive and president George Kurian said: “As healthcare moves towards preventative treatment and personalised medicines, AI leaders in the NHS have a complex challenge to break through cultural and organisational barriers when it comes to providing healthcare professionals the access to data they require.
“Progress is being made and the further deployment of AI-powered technologies – such as speech recognition and machine learning – will alleviate pressure on staff, accelerate innovation and reduce costs. The world of AI starts with data, and we are helping healthcare organisations simplify data services and build their data fabrics.”