Concept image of AI depicting the new regulatory sandbox from MHRA

New AI sandbox to help developers and fast-track patient access

The NHS will benefit from emerging technologies sooner thanks to a new government ‘regulatory sandbox’ that will enable AI innovations to be streamlined to patients.

Dubbed the AI Airlock, the sandbox represents a world-leading partnership between the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), industry and the NHS, which will grant people access to new technology before anywhere else is the world.

The move has been taken to help innovators work within the bounds of the current regulatory system so they can identify where their products need a stronger evidence base.

Ultimately, the AI Airlock will help ensure manufacturers deliver innovations that can be used in the real world and actually benefit patients.

“The deployment of AI and machine learning enabled med-tech devices is challenging, given the level of complexity of these products.”

The AI Airlock will provide a space for innovators, regulators, government, clinicians, and academia to come together and share learning.

MHRA’s head of software and AI, Dr Paul Campbell, said: “The new AI-Airlock scheme run by the MHRA will give us answers about how best to provide safe and effective products, such as AI-driven medical devices, to the NHS and patients.”

The new service will benefit from the recent government announcement of £100m of funding to better harness the potential of AI. More information on how the sandbox will help patients without safety concerns will be shared when the service opens next year, according to MHRA.

NHS England’s director of AI, Dominic Cushnan, wrote in the latest edition of National Health Executive’s online magazine about what could be in store for the NHS when it comes to digital innovation and AI specifically. Click here to read his insight.

Image credit: iStock

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

AI is key in helping dementia patients live independently for longer.

The Nov/Dec 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 39.
What makes a good NHS manager? with Anthony Painter, Director of Policy at Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

In episode 39 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Anthony Painter, who is the director of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), to discuss all things management within the UK health sector and NHS.

During the podcast, Anthony shared some of the recent research CMI conducted in partnership with the Social Market Foundation, which centred around the state of management and leadership within the NHS.

More articles...

View all