Using Artificial Intelligence to support patients with heart and circulatory diseases

As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Heart & Circulatory Diseases I was pleased to launch our new report in the House of Commons last week.

The report, Putting Patients at the Heart of Artificial Intelligence, examines patients’ views about the use of AI in healthcare. Our findings are the result of an inquiry which included roundtable discussions with patients, policy makers, cardiologists, researchers and industry representatives, as well as a literature review and a public survey, all of which was conducted by our Group and supported by the British Heart Foundation.

AI is strong at finding patterns and trends in data that are not obvious through human analysis. One such technique, machine learning, involves designing a set of instructions to be used by computers to detect patterns in sets of data, such as heart scans. Trends can be spotted which would not have been noticed otherwise.

Our report highlights that the NHS and relevant bodies need to do more to improve public understanding of the use of this innovative technology if its life-saving potential is to be realised.

Health & Social Care Secretary of State Matt Hancock, who also spoke at our report’s launch, has been a vocal proponent for the greater use of technology across the NHS. It is vital that AI is included in these endeavours. I welcome the extra £20.5 billion funding now committed for our NHS each year.

Our APPG is a forum working together to help improve health outcomes for people living with heart and circulatory diseases, and recommends that policy makers, the NHS, charities, researchers, healthcare professionals and the heath technology industry should engage and involve patients in the design, development and diffusion of AI.

If they do not, then developments in AI might not reflect the needs of the very people in Crawley and throughout our country who could benefit from them.

Henry Smith MP