UK researchers at an Oxford hospital have developed artificial intelligence (AI) that can diagnose scans for heart disease and lung cancer.
The new technology will become available to UK NHS hospitals this summer.
Sir John Bell, Regius Chair of Medicine at the University of Oxford has said that AI could “save the NHS”.
“There is about £2.2bn spent on pathology services in the NHS. You may be able to reduce that by 50%. AI may be the thing that saves the NHS,” he said.
Currently, cardiologists can tell from the timing of the heartbeat in scans if there is a problem. However, it can be wrong in one in five cases.
An AI system developed at the John Radcliffe Hospital, with the ability to detect details in the scans that doctors cannot see, diagnoses heart scans much more accurately.
The system has been tested in clinical trials in six cardiology units. The results are due to be published this year in a peer-reviewed journal after they have been checked by experts.
Professor Paul Leeson, a cardiologist who developed the system, says that the data indicates that the system has greatly outperformed his fellow heart specialists.
The system was trained to identify potential problems by being fed the scans of 1,000 patients who Leeson has treated over the past seven years.
Other AI systems are being developed to look for signs of lung cancer, as ways to offer better healthcare to more people.