Gateshead NHS to start AI trial in breast cancer detection

The NHS in Gateshead has signed up to test cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology – which could potentially transform breast cancer detection, improve patient experience and free up valuable time for staff.

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust is the first Trust in the country to enter into a research agreement with Kheiron as part of an AI in Health & Care Award. The trial will explore the ability of the Artificial Intelligence tool, Mia, to detect cancerous or pre-cancerous changes in mammograms.Usually screening images are analysed by two radiologists – but it is hoped that, if successful, Mia can free up one of those radiologists for other tasks.

Dr Alice Leaver, consultant breast radiologist at Gateshead Health Foundation NHS Trust, said: “We are very excited to begin the research and deployment work to test how the AI tool can assist us with breast screening. Currently all breast screening images (mammograms) are read by two human readers to ensure that we can best decide whether there is a need to bring a woman back for further tests.

“If AI can be used as the second reader in this process, and free up one human reader to deliver other clinically urgent care, this will help ensure that we’re able to continue to provide the best possible service to all.”

Dr Alan Redman, consultant radiologist and director of breast screening for the Gateshead NHS Breast Screening Programme, added: “We’re thrilled to be part of this exciting research, especially when the benefits for both patients and staff could be significant. It has been a team effort across our Trust and thanks must go to our colleagues in the contracts, research and development, and IT teams for their valuable work in helping Gateshead to take a leading role in this ground-breaking research.”