News ID: 235277
Published: 1150 GMT December 05, 2018

5m healthy Britons will be tracked in bid to detect disease sooner

5m healthy Britons will be tracked in bid to detect disease sooner

Five million healthy Britons will be tracked for years in attempt to develop artificial intelligence which spots signs of cancer and dementia far earlier.

Ministers said the measures – part of Britain’s industrial strategy – will form the largest ever study of its kind, according to The Telegraph.

The program to accelerate detection of disease will track detailed clinical information – such as genetic records, scans and samples – from one million volunteers, while regularly questioning a further four million patients in order to build a detailed picture.

The plans aim to speed up cancer diagnosis, potentially resulting in 22,000 fewer deaths a year within five years, as well as making breakthroughs detecting other major diseases far sooner.

Officials said the changes could save tens of thousands of lives by spotting deadly diseases long before symptoms even appear.

The technology will be developed by a new partnership between government and industry using artificial intelligence (AI) to develop the next generation of treatments.

The plans – the second part of the Government’s Life Science’s Sector Deal – will see more than £1.3b investment between the public and private sectors.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “From the first vaccine to the discovery of DNA, the UK has always been at the forefront of medical endeavor and healthcare innovations. That is why we are building on our unique strengths by placing life sciences at the center of our modern Industrial Strategy, backed by the biggest increase in public research and development investment in UK history.”

In a meeting with industry leaders at No10, the Business Secretary announced that as part of the deal, a new £150 to 200 million research and development facility of global biopharmaceutical company UCB will be built in the UK as part of a total investment of around £1 billion over the next 5 years.

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