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Innovation in AI: The UK's Big Plans

​Are there big moves being made in the UK's artificial intelligence space? It certainly looks like it. The DSIT (Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology) recently unveiled plans to ‘turbocharge’ growth in the sector – the policy paper, ‘A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation,’ emphasises collaboration and adaptability in a new context-driven framework.

While the introduction of new legislation looks unlikely to happen anytime soon, the paper is a hopeful (and timely) indicator of what’s to come.

This represents an exciting new era for the life sciences, as the AI grey spot has long been a point of contention in the development of new medical technologies. Here’s what we might be able to expect from the proposed changes.

Innovation at Pace

Technology has a habit of outrunning compliance frameworks. When regulations fail to keep up, it’s not uncommon to see innovation suffer. This is perhaps most obvious when looking at the ongoing communication challenges between manufacturers and notified bodies, an issue that the EU’s MDR reforms are aiming to resolve.

By delegating trust and responsibility among the expertise of existing regulators, the proposed ‘principles-based’ framework could allow for greater flexibility, creating more space for innovation in the process.

A Stronger Regulatory Narrative

Moving away from the wild west era of AI will likely require a stronger regulatory narrative – establishing said narrative with government support could be part of the wider solution. Building public trust in AI is a major objective for the new framework, and it will need to minimise confusion to achieve it.

AI-led healthcare solutions remain a difficult subject for many, with trust sitting at the centre of it. Be it the lack of trust from patients or the hesitancy from EHR (electronic health record) vendors to buy into AI systems, transparency and clarity must improve.

Business Opportunities

From predictive treatment to product acquisition, AI has already enriched many areas throughout the life sciences. Shifting the focus to the use case for AI rather than the technology itself could encourage further investment. This potentially opens up a possibility for what the DSIT is calling a ‘cross-cutting policy,’ a means to navigate around the limits of the current system.

The Talent Challenge

For stakeholders to benefit from the new framework in any meaningful way, they will need to ensure they have the right people on board. With any big changes, talent can be the difference between success and failure.

We’ve seen it happen already – in December of last year, some organisations were forced to pull products from the market because they couldn’t cope with the costs of MDR compliance.

If you’re hoping to prepare your business for the future of AI, BioTalent’s specialist staffing consultants are here to help. Whether you need to fill roles, benefit from talent guidance, or uncover insight into the shape of the current market, reach out to the team today to find out more.