Scoping the landscape for the future of AI and machine learning in health

Project status



The Alan Turing Institute’s health and medical sciences programme strives to place the UK at the forefront of innovation in the biomedical, health and data sciences interface. We aim to facilitate the incorporation of AI and data science into all areas of health research and delivery, allowing algorithms to accelerate our ability to find novel treatments for disease, understand and quantify risk and reduce inequity.   

We plan to bring together key partners, identify and prepare for critical AI and data science health challenges, explore shared goals and areas of additionality working across disciplines and sectors, and reach a state of readiness. We will achieve this by combining research and community engagement activities in partnership with key stakeholders. We will support several research projects designed to identify and test the best AI/ML approach to critical health challenges. We will undertake activities designed to prepare for the long term by both strategising with key strategic partners and scoping our infrastructure needs for using contemporary AI and data science methods on health data at scale. 

Explaining the science

Health research stakeholders need to work together to increase the return on national investment in health data and bring the UK in line with internationally similar initiatives that are being established, to which the UK wishes to remain competitive.  

Therefore, there is a need for the development of a clear joint strategy and to establish a shared infrastructure on which health research can grow, leading to the development and deployment of tools and practices into health systems across the NHS, industry and Government. 

Project aims

Our aim is to explore and develop two ongoing successful areas of strategic importance within the Health Programme: (1) Population Health and (2) Cell and Molecular Medicine. 

We will focus on three activities:

  1. Health summits – We will be convening two AI in health summits, one for each area of focus, bringing together senior leadership from key strategic partners and international leaders to establish a joint strategy. This will include identifying critical challenges, discussing data assets, establishing roadmaps for Turing grand challenges, and identifying new routes to impact and partnerships in reproducible and open data science.  
  2. Pump-priming projects – We will fund projects with strategic partners designed to identify a critical health challenge that can be addressed by harnessing AI and data science tools, identify the required data to address the challenge, identify the proposed AI/ML approach to the problem and define how the success of any AI/ML methods will be measured quantitatively. 
  3. “A.I. and machine learning in health infrastructure readiness” report – We will be writing a report that will establish the infrastructure required for UK data health resources to be utilised in AI/ML models at an institute level (e.g. requirements for an ML/AI-ready data interface) and determine the required infrastructure to openly share these AI/ML models with the community once generated in an inclusive way (i.e. allow non-experts the opportunity to utilise the models). 


Contact info

If you have any questions about this work, please contact [email protected]