The Government has said that artificial intelligence (AI) in GP practices will help manage patients in the elective care backlog.
It today announced that new technology and innovation will allow the NHS to treat 30% more elective care patients by 2023/24.
It added that NHS ‘come forward with a delivery plan for tackling the backlog’.
Details were limited, but NHS England later told GPs that they must ‘jointly manage’ patients stuck in the backlog of care caused by the Covid pandemic with hospitals.
Meanwhile, Pulse revealed in June that NHSX and NHS England were considering the viability of a wider roll out of an artificial intelligence triage model based on that used by Babylon.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) today said that the Government’s new pandemic recovery plan, backed by £36bn over the next three years, will see waiting lists reduced by technology such as virtual wards, local surgical hubs and AI.
It added that GP practices will use AI technology to ‘prioritise patients’ and support those on waiting lists.
It said: ‘GP surgeries are using artificial intelligence to help prioritise patients most in need and identify the right level of care and support needed for patients on waiting lists.’
In May, NHS England announced a three-month ‘accelerator’ programme backed by £160m to pilot measures for tackling waiting lists, including using AI to prioritise patients in GP practices.
Meanwhile, an AI triage tool developed by online GP consultation provider eConsult was awarded NHS funding to be trialled across practices before ‘before potentially being adopted across the health service’ in the same month.
Concerns have previously been raised around the safety of triage apps, including by the CQC and a doctor who was labelled a ‘troll’ by Babylon after he tested its AI app and reported the results on social media.
More to follow