£800,000 rapid research projects ‘to help tackle NHS winter crisis using AI’

£800,000 rapid research projects ‘to help tackle NHS winter crisis using AI’

£800,000 has been awarded to sixteen rapid research projects to help address winter pressures on the NHS by using existing health data records and artificial intelligence.

These projects, which include helping to reduce ambulance waiting times and understanding the effects of cold homes on health, have been launched by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) with funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research. (NIHR).

Other studies also include the use of hospital data to speed the flow of patients through emergency departments, as well as the use of an analytics approach called machine learning to predict infection spikes with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common virus that can cause serious illness in young children. .

Professor Cathie Sudlow, chief scientist at HDR UK, the UK’s health data science institute, which is running the projects, said: “As a clinician who has previously treated patients in the emergency department, I am well aware of the enormous challenges facing the healthcare system this winter.

“It is critical that we use data quickly, securely and responsibly to support the NHS, its workers and the patients who depend on them for care.



By using existing data, research equipment and infrastructure, these projects can quickly respond to evolving pressures on the NHS.

professor cathie sudlow

“By using existing data, research equipment and infrastructure, these projects can rapidly respond to evolving pressures on the NHS.”

Rapid research projects were selected in December 2022 and aim to produce results by the end of March.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “We are harnessing the spirit of innovation that the launch of the Covid vaccine generated to promote cutting-edge research aimed at tackling winter pressures on our NHS.

“Supported by £800,000 of government funding, these pioneering projects will rapidly collect data and use the latest analytics techniques to find ways to reduce hospital stays, prevent illness and free up staff time.

“We are already taking immediate steps to ease pressures on health services, including investing an additional £200m to get medically fit patients out of hospital faster.

“We are also spending £50m to ease congestion in hospital emergency departments by expanding discharge rooms, where patients can relax while waiting for family or friends to take them home, and ambulance centres.

“Those sums come on top of the £500m Offload Fund announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement to reduce bed occupancy, reduce ambulance delivery times and increase capacity in social care.”

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