Artificial intelligence (AI)

The RCR believes that artificiaI intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and associated health technologies represent one of the most potentially fundamental changes in medical care since the inception of the NHS.  We strongly welcome the introduction of appropriately regulated and governed uses of AI related technologies to augment clinical practice. Far from making the clinical radiologist and clinical oncologist of the future redundant, as some press has suggested, the use of AI will help standardise many aspects of clinical care, will optimise processes, and allow greater use of clinical data to inform best practice and outcomes.

For these technologies to translate into patient benefit and clinician support as swiftly and smoothly as possible, we are urging all developers to synergise on the following core principles:

  • Work to common standards that facilitate universal applicability, including extant standards for clinical practice as set out by the RCR as well as other stakeholders including the National Insitute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the British Standards Institute (BSI)
  • Assure the quality, safety and security of data used
  • Take account of current and emerging regulation by healthcare and digital economy regulators
  • Be clinically led so that effort is directed where it can most readily be used in practice to relieve hard-pressed NHS services
  • Achieve the widest possible use of digital data for the benefit of UK patients and the population as a whole

What the RCR will do

The RCR’s priority is to support all our Fellows and members in becoming early adopters of AI, embracing these technologies as they develop. We want to equip Fellows and members to be confident in integrating AI technologies into routine medical practice. To this end, we plan to:

  • Produce guidance and resources for our Fellows and members to help them understand AI and its role in the future of clinical practice, and to evaluate the quality of AI solutions
  • Continue to champion the case for progressive IT infrastructure so that AI can be used seamlessly within clinical practice
  • Work closely with NHSX, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NICE, Industry and the NHS national bodies to ensure that that developments in AI provide maximum benefit for both patients and clinicians
  • Develop infrastructure and mechanisms to support services in auditing the impact of AI on clinical practice, including workflow and patient outcomes.




AI: stakeholder event

Outcomes and discussions from a stakeholder event hosted by the RCR