Posted: Thu 27th Jul 2023

AI is changing how suspected prostate and breast cancer is being diagnosed in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jul 27th, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the detection of suspected prostate and breast cancer in Wales.

The IBEX Galen AI platform, having demonstrated a significant 13% surge in the detection of prostate cancer during trials, is now being put to the test with potential breast cancer cases in north Wales.

The AI tool, supported by the Welsh Government’s Innovation Fund and the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Centre of Excellence, processes digital images of pathology samples.

The images are then classified through a traffic light system that indicates a higher or lower likelihood of cancer, ahead of a clinical review.

This system not only helps prioritise urgent cases but also enhances patient outcomes by facilitating quicker diagnoses and potentially reducing the number of required biopsies and additional tests.

“The benefits of using AI to help diagnose cancer has exceeded all our expectations,” said Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services. Morgan stressed the importance of integrating digital solutions to meet the soaring demands on the NHS, outlining her vision for a data-driven healthcare system.

The innovative AI platform is currently under further scrutiny within six health boards with plans to integrate this technology into routine prostate cancer testing. Additionally, they aim to assess its efficacy in diagnosing other types of cancer.

The landmark success of the IBEX AI project was acknowledged at this year’s UK Innovate Awards, where it was announced as a finalist in the Innovation Spread Category.

Dr Muhammad Aslam, consultant pathologist and Betsi Cadwaladr’s clinical director of North Wales Diagnostic and Clinical Support Services, shared his optimism about the potential of AI in healthcare: “I previously said the use of artificial intelligence for diagnosis and prognosis of cancers puts us ‘at the crossroads of an exciting new world’. I firmly believe this.”

The use of AI and similar technology is just one example of how digital services are transforming health care in Wales.

To build on the work already underway, and to ensure Wales continues to lead on digital health care, Health Minister Eluned Morgan today launched the Digital and Data Strategy for Health and Social Care.

This strategy sets out the expectations to health boards and trusts, together with Social Care providers, on how digital and data should be used to advance the quality of health and social care services, improve the patient experience, and empower people to manage their health.

As well as AI tools such as IBEX, other examples of how digital is being used within NHS Wales and the types of innovation the Digital and Data Strategy wants to encourage include; the NHS Wales App, Welsh Ambulance Service’s Electronic Patient Clinical Record, the Welsh Nursing Care Record and the Cancer Informatics System.

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