Oxford Centre client Optellum wins NHS funding

Our Oxford Centre for Innovation client, Optellum wins NHS funding for its AI decision support to detect early-stage lung cancer this week.

Their decision support software uses artificial intelligence to help doctors make optimal decisions for patients with potentially cancerous lung lesions found in CT scans has been successful in the latest round of the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award by the the NHS.

Optellum was one of thirty-eight companies to receive the funding, which was announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The AI Award is making £140 million available over four years to accelerate the testing and evaluation of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims set out in the NHS long-term plan.

It means that Optellum will be able to work with leading NHS hospitals to deploy the technology for clinical evaluation at ten NHS hospitals, taking the technology one step closer to being widely deployed to benefit all patients across the entire NHS. The aim is to speed up the time to treatment and increase survival rates for patients with cancer, and reduce unnecessary invasive procedures on patients with harmless lesions which are not cancerous. The artificial intelligence software examines lung nodules to determine which are at risk of being malignant, without the use of expensive tests and scans, minimising harm and worrying delays for the patient.

The company will be working with Professor David Baldwin at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust as clinical lead for the project, who said about the technology: “We looked at the results and thought, ‘this is amazing, this is the real deal that looks like it’s going to be a game changer’.”  said Professor Baldwin, a consultant at Nottingham University Hospitals and chair of the UK Clinical Expert Group for lung cancer, who co-wrote the current clinical guidelines for the disease in the UK.

Congratulations Optellum. Great news.