This month, the government announced £50m of funding towards the creation of five new centres of excellence for digital pathology and imaging that will use artificial intelligence (AI) medical advances to speed up disease diagnosis and improve patient outcomes. NCRI is proud to be partnering with three of these centres – furthering our existing work to accelerate cancer research in pathology and imaging and linking these exciting new AI and machine learning projects to our Partners, patients and the wider cancer research community.

The five centres will be based in universities and NHS facilities, and bring together doctors, businesses, AI researchers and academics. Together, they will form a network of centres using AI to develop more intelligent analysis of medical imaging and find new ways to speed up diagnosis of diseases to improve outcomes for patients.

The technologies developed at the new centres will offer more personalised treatment for patients while freeing up healthcare professionals to spend more time caring for patients.

Funded through the Government’s flagship Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the centres are expected to be up and running during 2019.

NCRI have partnered with three of these centers

  • Pathology image data Lake for Analytics, Knowledge and Education, PathLAKE, led by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and University of Warwick, will collaborate on two high impact projects. One focusing on gaining greater accuracy of cancer detection and better prediction of treatment response for patients with breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers. The other on establishing a ‘data lake’ where anonymous patient data will be collected and used in research to look for patterns and trends – helping to further advance cancer care and other treatments.
    » Read more about PathLAKE
  • Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative, NPIC, led by the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will put new digital pathology scanners into a network of northern NHS hospitals, to gather digital pathology images for training AI systems. This will generate about 760,000 images per year, about 1.2 petabytes of data. The project also aims to develop more integrated ways of working across regional clinical pathology services.
    » Read more about NPIC 
  • National Consortium for Intelligent Medical Imaging, NCIMI, is led by the University of Oxford and partnering with 15 NHS hospitals, a set of companies small and large, including GE Healthcare and Alliance Medical, and patient support groups and charities. It will develop new artificial intelligence tools to help speed up diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, genetic disorders and other conditions.
    » Read more about NCIMI

We’re proud to be part of several of the consortia that will be developing cutting edge research for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Partnership working is critical to the successful development of AI technology and NCRI is perfectly placed to help link these exciting new AI and machine learning projects to our Partners, patients and the wider cancer research community. We already have expertise and links in these areas though our Cellular and Molecular Pathology initiative and our work to promote better coordination of the collection, storage and sharing of cancer imaging data across the UK.”

Dr Ian Lewis, Head of Strategy and Initiatives, NCRI