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Could Artificial Intelligence be Key in Transforming Healthcare?

One of the key takeaways from our Cluster Conference earlier this year was the abundance of opportunities for tech applications in the medical industry.  

With the advances in artificial intelligence dominating the headlines for 2023, it’s hardly surprising that various uses of AI implementation within healthcare are becoming more and more evident. 

In July, senior figures from medicine and biotechnology gave evidence to MPs as part of an inquiry into cancer technology, and recommended that adoption of AI in the NHS should be faster. AI is currently being used by the NHS to detect certain cancers, and to diagnose strokes. But it is argued that it is still being treated as a research issue, when the technology moves so fast it should be implemented as soon as possible. 

Some of the barriers to adoption of AI have been widely discussed, such as establishing trust: crucial when dealing with AI in any field but more so in the case of healthcare. Bias and unfairness are particularly relevant, making it critical to build in thoughtful implementations of AI that don’t propagate the bias in that data and lead to health disparities, especially for underrepresented or underserved groups. 

There is also the matter of data volume and privacy on a massive scale, as health data is so vast that it can become a challenge as much as an asset. According to RBC Capital Markets, approximately 30% of world’s data being generated is health care data. 

However, the opportunities for the tech sector and artificial intelligence companies are extensive in this field nonetheless, with ongoing rapid advancements that will begin to solve some of these issues.  

For example, Edinburgh-based firm, Blackford, was recently announced to be providing an NHS hospital in Milton Keynes with a neurocritical AI solution which will help identify life threatening abnormalities in CT scans. 

At ScotSoft, Dr Michelle Williams of the University of Edinburgh will be highlighting these examples, looking at artificial intelligence in medical imaging.  

Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform healthcare, and medical imaging in particular. Imaging tests such as x-rays and scans provide a window into the body, but only a tiny proportion of the information available is currently used in clinical practice. AI and ML have the potential to dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of image analysis, and also reveal new types of disease.  

In fact, a Swedish study recently suggested that artificial intelligence can ‘safely’ read breast cancer screening images – with computer-aided detection spotting cancer at a ‘similar rate’ to two radiologists. 

Michelle will also address the above issues, such as bias, accuracy, privacy and transparency, and explore in greater detail how these must be considered at a local, national and global level in order to realise the potential of artificial intelligence to improve patient care. 

If you want to learn more about the immeasurable potential for technology and artificial intelligence in the medical industry, join us at our ScotSoft 2023 conference in Edinburgh on 28th September. 

There are a limited number of tables and tickets still available for the Young Software Engineer Awards dinner – book here or contact Catriona Blair ( 

*ScotSoft is now a CPD certified event, where delegates can gain CPD points for their attendance and participation.* 

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