Heart Diseases: Artificial Intelligence

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 28 November 2023.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department plans to take steps to implement AI technology that predicts heart attacks years in advance.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Many of the artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that are looking at heart attack prediction are still in research and development. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) carried out an Early Value Assessment (EVA) on Cari-Heart in March 2023. Cari-Heart is a medical device that uses AI to analyse heart computerised tomography (CT) scans, to give clinicians a patient’s personalised risk of heart attack. NICE’s EVA does not recommend Cari-Heart for use in the National Health Service and that it should only be used for research to generate more evidence of its effectiveness at this stage.

Further pilot testing of Cari-Heart in five NHS trusts has started. This will evaluate the effectiveness of the tool as it analyses chest CT scans to help clinicians assess patients’ risk of heart attack.

The Department is funding the AI in Health and Care Award. This has provided £123 million to 86 AI technologies to test and evaluate some of the most promising AI technologies likely to meet the aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. A number of these trials include AI technologies that could assist clinicians to treat heart disease. These could generate more evidence of these technologies' effectiveness, which could lead to their rapid adoption in the NHS.

Another trial, which has received a £1.2 million award from the National Institute for Health Research, will test an AI-enabled smart stethoscope in 200 general practices (GPs) across London and Wales. The TRICORDER programme will assess if by providing the tool to GPs this can increase early detection of heart failure and reduce diagnosis through emergency hospital admission.

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