A new strategy for the development of industry involves the use of artificial intelligence for early diagnosis of cancer.

Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May promised to pledge millions of pounds to fund artificial intelligence programs that can help interpret the results of patient surveys and assist early diagnosis of cancer and chronic diseases, reports The Guardian. During her speech in Macclesfield on 21 May, May said:

"Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the greatest causes of avoidable deaths. The development of smart technologies to analyze great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy of human beings, opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armory in the fight against disease. "

May proposes to grant private and charitable organizations access to patients data and medical records, which are now kept by the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom. The strategy could increase the number of early diagnosed prostate, ovarian, lung, or intestinal cancer cases by 50,000 per year.

A Downing Street spokesman explained that this strategy will become a long-term investment. Digital strategies that can speed diagnostics and accuracy will lead to earlier and cheaper interventions. Later intervention in the treatment of cancer is often invasive and costly and, ultimately, unsuccessful.

It is believed that, by 2033, artificial intelligence could help prevent 22,000 deaths from cancer per year, and, by 2035, this technology will help increase life expectancy by five years.

But extensive patient databases are needed for the training of AI. Few companies working in the healthcare field boast such bases. Therefore, the UK authorities propose that private companies be allowed to access NHS data about patients, and they will be able to use a genetic and medical databases to create special algorithms.

This proposal will also allow commercial companies to profit from these data, which puts the issue in the field of ethics of data exchange, confidentiality and making money with the help of a state asset.