The Prime Minister has announced an ambition to use artificial intelligence to prevent 22,000 cancer deaths annually by 2033.
The Government said that its new plans will see at least 50,000 people each year diagnosed at an earlier stage of prostate, ovarian, lung or bowel cancer.
This could involve using new technology to cross-reference people’s genetics and medical records with national data to spot early-stage cancer.
It claimed this could allow doctors to make referrals ahead of symptoms developing.
In a speech in Macclesfield today, Ms May challenged the NHS and tech sector to use data and AI to ‘transform’ the diagnosis of chronic diseases.
She said: ‘The development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armoury in the fight against disease.
‘Achieving this mission will not only save thousands of lives, It will incubate a whole new industry around AI in healthcare, creating high-skilled science jobs across the country, drawing on existing centres of excellence in places like Edinburgh, Oxford and Leeds – and helping to grow new ones.’
The announcement comes after a think-tank told the NHS that it needs to embrace the ‘immense opportunities’ offered by AI including chatbots, wearable devices, diagnostic tools and automated administration.