One-stop-shop for artificial intelligence and digital regulations for health and social care launched

Last updated on 12 Jun 2023

A new online advice service to help the NHS and wider care system adopt and make use of new digital and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies has launched today.

The AI and Digital Regulations Service provides guidance for NHS and social care adopters and digital health innovators.

The service offers:

  • a website providing centralised, curated and up-to-date regulatory content for both developers and adopters of AI and data-driven technologies
  • access to specialist support for both developers and adopters from the service partners

The service is a multi-agency collaboration between the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Care Quality Commission (CQC), Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Health Research Authority, and is funded by the NHS AI Lab.

By collating information from all four organisations in one place, the site provides comprehensive guidance at each stage of the adoption pathway. The service can also respond to individual enquiries, making connections with relevant services or system partners.

Mark Chapman, interim director of medical technology at NICE, said:

'This service will help developers and the NHS come together to effectively deploy impactful AI and digital technologies. It provides useful and useable guidance on how to identify, pilot and rollout such technologies.'

Dr Laura Squire, Chief Quality and Access Officer at the MHRA, said:

'We are delighted to be part of this exciting initiative, which will make guidance in this rapidly evolving area - new digital and AI technologies - accessible to a much broader audience.”

“This innovative advice service will not only benefit developers and NHS adopters - it will also assure clinicians and provide them with confidence when using these cutting-edge technologies to provide care for patients across the UK.'

Zoher Kapacee, Head of Data and AI Programmes at the Health Research Authority, said:

'The AI and Digital Regulations Service will make it easier than ever for innovators to find out what they need to do to develop their ideas in line with the latest regulatory requirements.'

Dominic Cushnan, Director of AI, Imaging and Deployment at NHS England, said:

'This crucial service couldn’t come at a better time as discussions about regulating AI are progressing rapidly. The NHS AI Lab brought the regulatory agencies together to clarify and simplify the developer and adopter journey so we can support the NHS to embed the most effective digital technologies within clinical pathways and enable best practice so these tools are used safely and effectively.'

Both developers and NHS adopters of data-driven technologies helped develop the new service, which has been welcomed by NHS clinicians.

Dr Suraj Menon, consultant radiologist and clinical director at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, said:

'As an end user of these technologies, the AI and Digital Regulations Service gives me confidence that the products I use meet high safety standards, are effective and provide value for money.'

Haris Shuaib, consultant physicist and head of clinical scientific computing at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

'The AI and Digital Regulations Service is an incredible resource. It’s my role to facilitate AI adoption at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. In the past, this has been a challenging and risky responsibility. This new service provides a common and coherent adoption pathway. It will help people like me to implement such technologies safely and at speed for the betterment of patients.'

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