AXREM AI Special Focus Group Manifesto Published

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AXREM AI Special Focus Group Manifesto

About AXREM

AXREM is the UK trade association representing the interests of suppliers of diagnostic medical imaging, radiotherapy, healthcare IT and care equipment in the UK. AXREM members supply most diagnostic medical imaging and radiotherapy equipment installed in UK hospitals. In doing so, our member companies and their employees work side by side with Radiologists, Radiographers and Practitioners, Oncologists and a wide range of healthcare professionals in delivering healthcare to patients using our technologies.

Background

The adoption of AI within the UK health and care system is likely to accelerate as providers look to adopt new innovations to help improve outcomes and resolve the increasing backlogs that have grown substantially during the COVID pandemic.

While there is much interest in pilots and proof of concept projects, the broad adoption of AI within Radiology (and related domains) is still problematic for providers for the following reasons.

  • Access to good quality, relevant training data is still challenging for developers and innovators.
  • The importance of diversity within the AI training data and the need to use a representative population for algorithm development is not well understood.
  • The ‘hype’ surrounding AI in healthcare and other areas has created unrealistic expectations in the market and the public perception.
  • Some early healthcare AI projects have failed to manage patient data effectively, leading to scepticism and concern among professionals and the public.
  • Some early pilot projects have shown promise, but this has not been followed through into routine use.
  • The difference between static AI systems (that have been trained on a fixed dataset and then deployed) and more dynamic AI (that continue to ‘learn’ once deployed) is not well understood.
  • The regulatory landscape for AI in Healthcare is still immature and is based on different principles in different territories.
  • The business case (or HTA) is still unproven for AI in most situations and even the basis for that assessment is not fully agreed.
  • Integration within the clinical workflow and with other systems needs to be fully considered to maximise the benefits.
  • Conventional NHS purchasing frameworks are too rigid for the fast-paced developments like AI and alternative processes are currently immature.
  • To support improvements within diagnostic imaging and healthcare efficiency, in the wake of COVID, in order to provide patients with timely access to care.

These issues are hurdles to adoption are real and current and impact suppliers and innovators as well as the providers and the public.  Thankfully, the UK Government (and the devolved authorities) recognise the potential and some of the issues and are keen to work with all relevant parties to ensure that the UK benefits from both the healthcare delivery improvements and economic development opportunities presented by this exciting area of innovation.

As the UK’s industry body for suppliers of diagnostic medical imaging, radiotherapy, healthcare IT and care equipment, AXREM is ideally placed to promote the effective and appropriate deployment of AI to support the sector.

AI Special Focus Group Purpose

The purpose of the AXREM AI SFG is promote the adoption of beneficial AI technology and to identify and seek to overcome the hurdles to adoption encountered by suppliers while attempting to develop and deploy AI solutions into both public and private providers in the UK.

These goals may be achieved in the following ways –

  1. Promoting the opportunities for AI within diagnostic medical imaging, radiotherapy, healthcare IT and care systems.
  2. Building networks of expertise that bridge between providers, regulators, suppliers, innovators, and patient representatives.
  3. Influencing funders and procurers to accelerate adoption of AI and support the development of an appropriate cost effectiveness model.
  4. Promoting fast-track purchasing routes into the NHS for AI and Innovative Health tech with easy access for innovators.
  5. Promoting the appropriate use of healthcare data to support the rapid deployment of effective AI.
  6. Work with the Government, NHS, MHRA, NICE and other bodies to build awareness and understanding of the complexities and processes for successful adoption.

Plan of action

The AI SFG will pursue the following plan of action to support the effective and appropriate deployment of AI within our sector –

  • Liaison with relevant bodies and agencies
  • Review & influence relevant industry standards
  • Support the increased availability of healthcare data for development
  • Support education programs that raise awareness of AI and set appropriate expectations
  • Develop a resource library for our members and the healthcare organisations

Current SFG Membership

Agfa HealthCare IT UK Ltd Aidence
Annalise.ai BrainLAB
Canon Medical Systems Canon (Vital Images)
Change Healthcare Elekta
Fujifilm UK Ltd – Medical Systems Division GE Healthcare
IBM Watson Health Imaging Insignia Medical Systems
Medray UK Philips Healthcare
RaySearch Laboratories Siemens Healthcare
Smart Reporting Soliton IT
Varian Medical Systems Wellbeing Software
Xograph Healthcare