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An updated code of conduct for artificial intelligence and other data-driven technologies has been published by the Department of Health and Social Care
The code, first published in September last year, encourages technology companies to meet a set of principles to protect patient data. It has been drawn up with the help of industry, academics and patient groups.
The aim is to make it easier for suppliers to develop technologies that tackle big issues such as dementia, obesity and cancer. It also aims to help health and care providers choose safe, effective and secure technology to improve the services they provide.
The code is made up of 10 principles and will be regularly updated.
AI technology is already being used across the NHS. Examples include:
• Moorfields/Deepmind – 1 million anonymised eye scans were shared with Deepmind under a research agreement that began in mid-2016. Deepmind’s algorithm is designed to find early signs of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
• John Radcliffe Hospital – worked with their partner, Ultromics, to use AI to improve detection of heart disease and lung cancer
• Imperial College London – developed a new AI system that can predict the survival rates for patients with ovarian cancer
Dr Simon Eccles, Chief Clinical Information Officer for Health and Care, said:
"Parts of the NHS have already shown the potential impact AI could have in the future of the NHS in reading scans, for example, to enable clinicians to focus on the most difficult cases.
"This new code sets the bar companies will need to meet to bring their products into the NHS so we can ensure patients can benefit from not just the best new technology, but also the safest and most secure.
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