Artificial Intelligence in Health


By Stephen Mills PwC Director Data & Analytics North

The invitations for the #AIHealth Hackathon (30th November – 1st December) have now been issued!  We are extremely excited about the event as it will not only focus on what is a really hot topic at the moment but it will also be one of the first events to be held in the new home of PwC Manchester - No1 Spinningfields . The event is being hosted by PwC, IBM UK Ltd. and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

AI is far reaching, it will impact most industries whether it be for value creation or improved consistent customer service. PwC has chosen to host the Hackathon in Health due to the wide ranging applications, uses and opportunities that exist in the health industry in the UK.

Below are some existing examples of where AI in health is already being applied:

  1. To support the consultant in 'determining decisions' on the right course of treatment. The role AI plays here is that it has a corpus of medical knowledge from journals, publications, previous diagnosis and treatment reports, it helps summarise the information and means the consultant doesn’t need to spend precious time reading through all the documents - however the final decision still sits with the consultant.
  2. Scan reviews - whether it’s a CAT scan or an X-ray, image recognition and machine learning is now at a point where it can provide a consistent level of service and identify what (if anything is unusual within the a scan) based on hundreds or other similar scans - again, it doesn’t replace the expert, it simply provides support.
  3. Using AI to support the triage process  via an app. Being able to support the diagnosis of a problem as well inform/advise people where to go (doctors, hospital etc.) without the need for human intervention.
  4. One of our partners for the event  Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, have introduced an AI app for Children to converse with on  the treatment they are about to receive - rather than talking to the consultant – creating a more child friendly experience which can help to overcome uncertainty.

As you can see AI is in health is already  a growing area with technology evolving very quickly with Trusts and organisations’ looking to adopt AI for varying use-cases - it’s importance  to the industry as a cost reduction tool and a customer service improvement facility are key. Yes there has been some media coverage relating to the potential impact of AI on peoples jobs and whilst this will continue to be debated, when it comes to AI in Health it’s more about augmenting the expert knowledge currently available to provide the right decision with an improved level of certainty much quicker - this may also free up time for consultants to see more patients which surely has to be a good thing?

The hackathon will provide attendees with the chance to create ideas and a supporting prototype over the two days to see what they can create and how quickly they can turn an idea into a potential solution.

We’re looking forward to working with the various Trusts and organisations’ on their ideas and use-cases over the duration of the hackathon.

In addition to this blog entry introducing you to the event we will be posting other blog content  that will touch on other topics such as the ‘Ethics of AI’ and what you need in order to start your journey in AI post the  Hackathon. We’ll also provide an update post following the event to provide an overview on the outputs. 

Any Trusts or organisations’ wishing to discuss ‘AI in Health’ should contact:

Stephen Mills, PwC Director Data & Analytics North

Mobile: 07966 265 804


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