Academics, clinicians and industry are collaborating in Aberdeen to apply artificial intelligence to fracture diagnosis in hospitals.
A landmark digital project – co-funded by Opportunity North East (ONE) and the Scottish Government – has started its second phase and will invest up to £240,000 in innovative data technology to screen radiographs of wrist and ankle fractures. The aim is to free up radiologists to focus on more complex cases.
Machine learning applied to initial screening will identify patients with fractures faster, reduce the length and number of hospital stays, and ensure that complex fractures heal quicker.
Five development companies initially worked with anonymised patient data from the Grampian Data Safe Haven to create algorithms. Results from the project’s first phase exceeded expectations and two companies – SeeAI and Bering – will now develop and test their prototype solutions over the next nine months.
The two companies will continue to work alongside NHS Grampian, the University of Aberdeen, and Canon Medical Research Europe. They will use a new, secure digital system developed by Canon to further test and refine their AI systems.
Professor Stephen Logan, Chair of the ONE Life Sciences sector board, said: “This project is harnessing the expertise of clinicians and industry to produce better results for patients. Digital is transforming healthcare at an unprecedented pace and ONE’s co-funding for the project builds on the region’s strengths in health data science, imaging and analytics. The project is part of our action and investment to commercialise innovation and realise industry’s ambition to double the size of north east Scotland’s life sciences sector. All the partners have been encouraged by the first phase results. We look forward to seeing commercial solutions coming out of further collaborative innovation in phase two, demonstrating the region’s ability to drive digital health developments and bring forward solutions to healthcare challenges.”
Scottish Government Chief Scientist (Health and Social Care) Professor David Crossman said: “Artificial intelligence presents a real opportunity to the medical sector, especially when it comes to assisting clinicians with routine practises where it is safe to do so. I am pleased to see this landmark project move into the next phase of development and look forward to seeing their findings.”
Dr Andy Keen, NHS Grampian Clinical Lead for Innovation added: “NHS Grampian is delighted that our clinical experts and Innovation Hub team are contributing significantly to this exciting innovation programme. Right now, much of our efforts are focused on managing coronavirus in our community here in the North East of Scotland. However, it is important too that healthcare organisations, academia, industry and funding bodies continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to the myriad healthcare delivery challenges faced here in the UK and across the world. The two companies selected for phase 2 have excellent innovation ideas and we are very much looking forward to working closely with them in coming months.”
Professor Corri Black, Director of the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Health Data Science, said: “Artificial Intelligence has the potential to support clinicians and enhance patient care. It’s hugely important that we take the patients with us on this journey and we are delighted to play a role in supporting partnership between industry, academia, the NHS and its patients.”
Dr Ken Sutherland, President at Canon Medical Research Europe, said: “We’re really grateful that we were invited to be involved in this important and novel AI project with Opportunity North East. The project has brought together expert clinicians, innovators and academics with the common goal of solving a very real clinical challenge. What’s really exciting for us is that once novel AI begins to be created and validated here in Scotland, we can work with partners to take it to the global healthcare market through our parent company Canon Medical.”
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