A new partnership between London Medical Imaging, the AI Centre for Value-Based Healthcare and digital transformation consultancy Answer, has been confirmed this week.

It hopes to provide the NHS with an open-source solution with the ability to access machine learning models, and provide models that can be trained using a ‘federated learning’ approach.

The approach is said to be ‘capable of ensuring machine learning models can be trained without data ever having to leave a trust’s environment’.

Beverley Bryant, Chief Digital Information Officer for Guy’s and St Thomas’s Foundation Trust & King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “This is a unique programme to implement AI at scale within the NHS. Our partnership with Answer is another key step toward deploying this open-source technology in clinical environments. Answer is a respected digital health agency, and we hope that our partnership and shared success will provide a springboard for widespread AI deployment across the NHS to benefit patients.”

Professor Seb Ourselin, Deputy Director of the London Medical Imaging and AI Centre for Value-Based Healthcare, added: “Public and private partnerships are critical to bring secure AI-powered innovations into the NHS to improve patient care. For the first time, with the expertise of Answer working together with the AI Centre, we will propel an open-source federated learning platform and deployment engine that will ensure data remains safe and stays within each trust. This project has the capacity to be truly transformative.”

The centre, with partnerships including 10 NHS trusts, was recently awarded a £16 million grant from the Department of Health and Social Care by the Office of Life Sciences, to enhance their research in the field of artificial intelligence in the NHS.

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