Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing AI-driven mammography to (a) support radiologists and (b) increase capacity in the breast cancer screening programme.
There is currently no published evidence in large scale prospective trials that Artificial intelligence (AI) would be equivalent or better than the current model of having two independent human mammogram readers. AI continues to generate huge amounts of interest for its potential role in the NHS. There is interest in AI for breast screening, where it could replace a human reader of mammograms.
The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) and Public Health England have developed interim guidance for AI developers to help consider key metrics required that would assist the UK NSC to make a recommendation on the use of AI. Both are working with the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative who are funding a large study in 2021 to understand whether AI can be a useful support to the programme. More information is available at the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/aac/
More information about AI and screening can be found at the following link; https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2021/02/02/advice-for-nhs-breast-screening-services-on-the-use-of-ai/