New £10m MRI facility to harness power of AI and improve patient care

A new medical imaging facility that harnesses the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance patient care and make research breakthroughs has opened in London.

The new £10.5m Mary Seacole MRI Centre will be shared by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London and will be dedicated to the finding and initialising of the latest AI breakthroughs so NHS patients can benefit as quickly as possible.

As well as providing patients with more specialised care via tailored images for their clinical requirements, the new centre will also allow an extra 7,000 patients to be scanned a year using the very latest imaging technology – slashing waiting lists and reducing delays.

The new MRI centre is already utilising advanced imaging techniques when scanning babies in the womb, diagnosing cancer, and during the treatment of cardiovascular and neurological conditions.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s Deputy Chief Executive, Lawrence Tallon, commented: “This new Centre includes the very latest imaging technology. Working with our long-standing partners at King’s College London, it will improve patients’ experiences at a vulnerable time and provide important research opportunities to further develop our understanding and treatment of many conditions.”

The new centre was bankrolled via a £16m DHSC grant from the Office for Life Sciences and is expected to “pioneer an artificial intelligence in healthcare mission which will see researchers and clinicians actively working together on developments for patient benefit by exploring how to deploy AI at scale.”

Health Minster, Will Quince, added: “This new world-class MRI Centre – backed by government funding – will provide an extra 7,000 patients a year with potentially life-saving scans and diagnoses; delivering ground-breaking research into new treatments and cementing the UK’s status as a life sciences superpower.

“I want to harness this scientific brilliance. Our Life Sciences Vision puts this innovation at the heart of our health service, helping to solve major health challenges such as cancer and obesity and enabling the NHS to continue delivering world class care.”

This all comes after Guy’s and St Thomas’ opened a new £50m diagnostic centre at Royal Brompton Hospital earlier this year in order to expand diagnostic capabilities, cut scanning times, and improve the general patient experience.

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NHE May/June 2024

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