£13.5 million funding to speed up diagnosis of deadly diseases in Coventry

Patients in Coventry will benefit from earlier and more accurate diagnosis of diseases as a result of improvements in diagnostic technology.

Pathologist in laboratory uses testing equipment and test tubes.

A major £13.5 million funding boost is set to enhance Pathology services at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) and speed up the diagnosis of deadly diseases, such as cancer.

The PathLAKE Centre, based at University Hospital in Coventry, has been named as one of three centres set to receive the cash injection following its work in Digital Pathology, a process where patient samples are digitally scanned to create detailed images.

Patients will benefit from earlier and more accurate diagnosis of diseases as a result of improvements in diagnostic technology.

Hospital services such as Radiology will be able to provide more personalised treatment for patients, which will free up clinicians’ time and ultimately save more lives.

Evelyn Waddell, from the PathLAKE project, commented: “What is significant about PathLAKE is that it uses AI to reflect the changing landscape in Pathology to revolutionise diagnostics which will work to improve patient outcomes in the future.

“This will give patients a faster and more accurate diagnosis at a time when it’s needed and this can only be a positive for patients.”

The funding boost forms part of a Government initiative to invest an extra £50 million in across the country to bolster the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical diagnostics.

Professor Kiran Patel, the interim chief executive at UHCW, said he was delighted to receive the funding.

“As a Trust, we’re excited to be playing a major part in helping the UK to take a leading role in the development and delivery of these new technologies to improve patient outcomes and enhance our understanding and utilisation of clinical information”, he said.

“The knowledge PathLAKE will unlock, both in the short and long-term, will completely transform cancer care in the NHS while embedding a world-leading life-sciences and technology sector across our health system.”

PathLAKE is one of only five Centres of Excellence across the UK using AI to increase the efficiency of its diagnostics using Digital Pathology, with developments including the world’s first automated colon biopsy reporting tool.

UHCW said it will be sharing its learnings with healthcare, academic and industry partners from Belfast, Nottingham, Oxford and Warwick, alongside laboratories across the country.