GOSH to provide support for AI and Machine Learning as part of new paediatric HealthTech Research Centre

23 Nov 2023, 10 a.m.

Illustration of healthcare professional using a computer and a child with a cochlear implant. There are numbers leaving the computer that represent data.

GOSH will support the new Child and Young People’s HealthTech Research Centre (HRC), led by Sheffield Children’s Hospital, as leads for AI and Machine Learning. The HRC is one of 14 new centres established by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to drive life-changing research into health technologies.

The HealthTech Research Centre (HRC) for Children and Young People’s Health (CYP), led by Sheffield Children’s Hospital, is one of 14 newly established HRCs by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). As collaborators of the CYP HRC, GOSH will be leading on the Child Health Artificial Intelligence Network (CHAIN) which will work with the four clinical themes to support and drive AI and Machine Learning for clinical practice, to support clinicians and improve patient care.

“As the Director of Innovation, I am thrilled that GOSH are collaborators in the Children and Young People’s HealthTech Research Centre. Through CHAIN we will lead the way in the development, testing and implementation of AI and Machine Learning for clinical practice, to support clinicians and improve patient care.”

Prof Andrew Taylor, Director of Innovation, GOSH

Professor Andrew Taylor, Director of Innovation, wearing shirt and glasses in front of orange DRIVE sign

14 new NIHR HealthTech Research Centres established across England

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has awarded almost £42 million of government funding to establish 14 new centres across England that will drive life-changing research into health technologies.

From 1 April 2024, the 14 new NIHR HealthTech Research Centres (HRCs) will work with businesses to support the development of medical devices, diagnostics and digital technologies. These technologies will enable people to better monitor their health, diagnose ill health sooner and improve management of conditions including cancer, dementia, cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

The HRCs will also work with companies to develop and test products to support rehabilitation and help those with social care needs to maintain their independence. They will work closely with carers, patients and users at all stages. Each HRC will be hosted by an NHS organisation in England, bringing industry, academia and the health and care system together. The HRCs will drive innovation and efficiency, bringing new technologies to those who need them most, support the health and care workforce to reduce workload, and help alleviate pressures on the health and care system.

The HRCs will keep the UK at the forefront of research and the place companies want to come to in order to invest in the development of health technologies.

The HRC scheme replaces the successful NIHR Medtech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative (MIC) scheme, which comes to an end in March 2024.

The impact of NIHR MedTech Scheme

  • Virtual reality rehabilitation physiotherapy for children so they can undergo treatment from the comfort of their own home, reducing pressures on hospital services;
  • The “HeadUp Collar” for people with motor neurone disease to address problems with communication, swallowing, breathing, mobility and pain and drastically improve the quality of life of people living with this debilitating disease;
  • A breath test for multiple gastrointestinal cancers, allowing detection at an earlier stage when treatments are more effective;
  • QbTest, a computerised assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) now used in NHS ADHD Clinics in England to support clinical decision making and more efficiently diagnose ADHD so that people have fewer consultations and receive support much earlier.

Plans for the new HealthTech Research Centres

The new scheme will continue to support innovative projects like these, while also building capacity and expertise to support the development of health and care technologies to meet the growing demands of our population. The HRCs will develop technology for hospitals and in general practice as well as for use within community and social care settings, allowing patients to benefit from these innovations wherever they come into contact with the health and care system.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care and CEO of the NIHR, said:

“Research into health technology is recognised as being of vital importance for patients, carers and users, our workforce, and the wider health and care system.

“The establishment of the NIHR Healthtech Research Centres shows our firm commitment to driving innovation in healthtech research from conception through to adoption.

“Our existing research centres in MedTech have delivered new technologies that have helped prevent, diagnose and treat ill health for many individuals, as well as ensuring increased efficiencies in the health and care system.

“The increased funding for the HealthTech Research Centres will build capacity and expertise in health technologies, bring new innovations to market and enable people to live healthier, better-quality lives.”

Drawn picture of patient and parent speaking with GOSH staff member

Supporting government priorities

  • Levelling up across the country with nine of the 14 HRCs based at NHS organisations outside the Greater South East and receiving the majority of the funding (64%).
  • The HRCs will support the development of innovations that address the most pressing healthcare challenges, including cancer, mental health, neurodegeneration and dementia, ageing, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular conditions.
  • The HRCs will support industry, including small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and local innovation clusters, to develop new medical technologies and diagnostics, and increase the chance of adoption in the NHS and other health and care settings. This will further cement the United Kingdom as a leading global hub for Life Sciences.
  • The HRCs will support delivery of the Government's medical technology (“medtech”) strategy. Medtech is of vital importance to the UK health and care system, helping people live more independent, healthier lives for longer.

Full list of the new NIHR HealthTech Research Centres

  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Brain and spine injury
  • Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust - Cardiovascular and respiratory disease
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust - Diagnostics for cancer, infectious and respiratory diseases, critical care, primary and social care
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust - Surgical technologies and rehabilitation
  • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust - Urgent and emergency care
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Rehabilitation and assistive technologies
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust - Rehabilitation and assistive technologies
  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust - Community healthcare (cancer, infectious diseases, mental health and technology for care homes)
  • Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Diagnostics, rehabilitation and frailty
  • Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust - Children and young people’s health
  • South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust - Dementia and brain health
  • The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Diagnostics for infectious diseases, ageing and multiple long-term conditions and rare diseases

Experts across the UK come together to share cutting edge findings in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

The CLUSTER Consortium celebrates over six years of research addressing the needs of children and young people with arthritis.

Astronaut Tim Peake ‘launches’ our new NIHR Clinical Research Facility

We were thrilled to have astronaut Tim Peake join us at the official launch of the new National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) GOSH Clinical Research Facility where he met with patients, families, staff and children from the GOSH nursery.

Young people want AI involved in their care, new GOSH study shows

For the first time, a study has asked children and young people across all four UK nations for their views on how they would like AI to be used to enhance their healthcare

World-first genomic testing scheme ensures every child gets the best cancer treatment for them

Children with cancer are being offered treatment plans tailored to their specific cancer thanks to a single genomic test that reads more than three billion letters of DNA to identify cancer-causing mutations.