The £250m NHS Artificial Intelligence Lab, designed to boost artificial intelligence in solving some of the biggest challenges in the NHS, is underway. Within this remit, NHSX, the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), are running an AI Award scheme worth £140 million to accelerate the testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies.
It will support technologies spanning the full spectrum of development, from initial concept to NHS adoption, and will focus on four key areas: screening, diagnosis, decision support, and improved system efficiency.
Levels of funding are dependent on the stage of development, with four support phases available:
Phase 1 is intended to show the technical and clinical feasibility of the proposed concept, product or service. Awards are for a maximum of £150,000 over a 6 to 12 month period. If the Phase 1 project is successful, companies can bid for Phase 2, subject to budget availability.
Phase 2 is intended to develop and evaluate prototypes of demonstration units and generate early clinical safety/efficacy data. Award amounts are uncapped, funding awards are per product, typically for 12-36 months. If the Phase 2 project is successful, companies can bid for Phase 3, subject to budget availability.
Phase 3 is intended to support first real-world testing in health and social care settings to develop evidence of efficacy and preliminary proof of effectiveness, including evidence for routes to implementation to enable more rapid adoption. Awards are uncapped, funding awards are per product, typically for 12-24 months. If the Phase 3 project is successful, companies can bid for Phase 4, subject to budget availability.
Phase 4 is intended to identify medium stage AI technologies that have market authorisation but insufficient evidence to merit large-scale commissioning or deployment. Award amounts are uncapped, awards are per technology. The AAC Delivery Team will work with NHS sites to support their adoption of these technologies, to stress test and evaluate the AI technology within routine clinical or operational pathways to determine efficacy or accuracy, and clinical and economic impact.
A call for applications will run at least twice a year with the current application process open from 28 January to 1.00 pm on 4th March 2020.
For more information on which phase your technology would belong and how to apply, click here.