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NICE says there is insufficient evidence to support use of AI for lung cancer diagnosis

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 03 October 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2284
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

NHS England is championing artificial intelligence as a way to speed up diagnosis times for conditions such as lung cancer, but NICE says more research is needed. Jacqui Wise reports

In June 2023, the Department of Health and Social Care announced a ringfenced £21m artificial intelligence diagnostics fund.1 NHS trusts were invited to bid for funding to use the most promising AI tools, including those to analyse chest x rays.

Making the announcement, Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said, “I’m focussed on adopting the latest cutting edge technology across the health and care system to ensure we can continue to deliver the best care for our patients and cut waiting times, which is one of the government’s five priorities.” The minister for science, innovation, and technology, Chloe Smith, described AI as a “game changer.”

But on 28 September, the National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) rejected using AI derived software to analyse chest x rays for suspected lung cancer in adults referred from primary care, saying there is currently insufficient evidence to support its use.2

Although the technology “shows promise” and may help to reduce time to diagnosis and treatment it should not be used …

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