52% of NHS trusts already deploying AI, says NetApp study

20% of NHS trusts said that they used AI for clinical care, while 16% said AI was used for diagnosis purposes.

Speech recognition was found to have been used by 28% of trusts, while 25% said they were using robotic process automation (RPA), and machine learning by 13%.

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Around one in six (16%), meanwhile, declared plans to roll out AI within the next two years, with 75% having appointed an AI-specific decision maker for their trust.

Data governance policies also seem to be kept in mind, with 59% of trusts either planning to review them or have already completed a review.

“Artificial intelligence has limitless potential in healthcare services and it’s encouraging to see the technology being used in half of NHS Trusts,” said George Kurian, NetApp‘s chief executive officer and president. “As healthcare moves towards preventative treatment and personalized medicines, artificial intelligence leaders in the NHS have a complex challenge to break through cultural and organizational 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 artificial intelligence starts with data, and we are helping healthcare organizations simplify data services and build their data fabrics.”

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Professor Sebastien Ourselin, Head of School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences at King’s College London, added: “At St Thomas’ MedTech Hub, we are at the forefront of utilising data and artificial intelligence to inform clinical decisions.

“We are working on end-to-end solutions that embed AI into the clinical pathway, from early diagnostics to therapeutic interventions.

“High performing and maintainable solutions are key if we are to make these systems trusted and safe for clinical use and NetApp’s findings underline we are moving in the right direction.”

However, only 33% of respondents said they had complete access to their trust’s AI-related data, while 39% have not yet invested in AI at all, meaning that not everyone among the NHS trusts are all in on AI.

This research by NetApp came as a result of a freedom of information request, to which 61 trusts responded.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.