Industry and clinicians are set to collaborate in North East Scotland to develop artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to support fracture diagnosis in hospitals.
Opportunity North East (ONE) and the Scottish Government are co-funding a project to use machine learning to develop an AI solution for radiological diagnosis of limb fractures. They are investing up to £240,000 in innovative data analytics technology to improve front-line clinical decision making and patient management in unscheduled care facilities, such as accident and emergency departments.
Organisations with relevant skills and experience can now apply to develop solutions through a two-stage Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, which opened this week. Successful applicants will receive funding and will work alongside NHS Grampian, the University of Aberdeen, and Canon Medical Research Europe. First stage research and development will focus on feasibility studies with prototype development and testing following in stage two.
The solution will help clinicians make quicker decisions on patient diagnosis and treatment. It must use AI or machine learning algorithms to interpret data from upper limb (wrist or hand) and lower limb (ankle or foot) radiographs and linked text-based reports.
ONE’s co-funding for the project aims to build on the region’s strengths in health data science, imaging and analytics as part of its work to double the size of the life sciences and healthcare company base by 2027.
Prof Stephen Logan, Chair of the ONE Life Sciences sector board, said: “ONE and the Scottish Government are partnering with clinicians and industry, including Canon Medical Research Europe, to bring forward innovative AI solutions for fracture diagnosis. This project will build on our regional strengths in health data analytics and imaging, catalyse new collaborations and bring in AI expertise from other sectors. Digital healthcare is a growth market and this co-investment develops our capability as we build our innovative and high-value life sciences company base in Aberdeen.”
Scottish Government Chief Scientist (Health and Social Care) Professor David Crossman said: “We are pleased to support the NHS working as a reference site for the development of artificial intelligence in diagnostics in Scotland. The NHS is a great environment for innovators to collaborate and we are keen to see Scotland excel globally in this important area. This initiative in the area of fracture detection will support busy clinical teams in delivering high quality care.”
Dr Andy Keen, Consultant Health Psychologist and Clinical Lead for Innovation at NHS Grampian said: “NHS Grampian is delighted to be at the vanguard of efforts to use digital technology to provide the highest possible quality, state-of-the-art care to people in Scotland and beyond. Some of our expert NHS Grampian clinicians alongside luminaries in data science at the University of Aberdeen will work closely with industry partners to generate a solution that speeds up fracture diagnosis.
“Our teams can then provide medical care where needed in the shortest possible time. This is the first example of a programme of work focused on using digital technology to improve healthcare delivery, and we look forward to fruitful relationships with ONE Life Sciences, the Scottish Government and Canon Medical Research Europe,” said Dr Keen.
Further details on the artificial intelligence-supported early fracture diagnosis SBRI competition can be found here. The competition opened on 20 May 2019 and the deadline for registration is at midday on 24 July 2019.