Edinburgh Imaging

02 Dec 21. Aidence press release

Novel research aims to show the impact of AI on radiology decision making in lung cancer care.

An innovative clinical evaluation programme has been launched to examine the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on radiology decision making in the lung cancer pathway & the patient outcomes from these decisions. The programme, called INPACT[1], is a collaboration between MedTech scale-up Aidence, clinical consultancy Hardian Health, & the University of Edinburgh, with funding from the NHSX through the NHS AI in Health & Care Award.


The radiology workflow

The study will focus on radiologists reporting on chest CT scans in routine clinical practice. In this setting, patients undergo scans for varied health conditions. If the radiologist finds an abnormal growth in the lungs - which may be an indicator of lung cancer - they make an assessment of the nodule’s characteristics & a recommendation for managing its evolution.

The majority of the lung nodules detected in routine practice are benign, but some are cancerous. Their identification & follow-up are crucial steps towards increasing the lung cancer diagnosis at an early stage, when a cure may still be possible. However, this is a challenging task for UK physicians, as Miguel O. Bernabeu, Senior Lecturer in Medical Informatics & Deputy Director of the Bayes Centre at The University of EdinburghChief investigator in the programme, explains:

Spotting lung nodules on a chest CT scan which might potentially develop into malignant disease is painstaking & time-consuming work for already-stretched NHS radiologists.


An innovative approach

As part of INPACT, radiologists will perform their lung nodule analysis with the support of Aidence’s Veye Lung Nodules, an intelligent software that automatically finds, segments, measures, & tracks the growth of pulmonary nodules on chest CT scans.

Research into AI medical imaging solutions is often centered around the performance or accuracy of AI tools, e.g. the percentage of anomalies correctly flagged on a scan, in controlled research conditions that do not match real clinical workflows. INPACT aims to gain insight into an understudied area: the impact of the technology on human decisions, thus investigating Veye Lung Nodules’ influence on how radiologists manage pulmonary nodules. 

Miguel O. Bernabeu, on the approach & value of this programme

We hope to prove, through one of the first studies of its kind, how artificial intelligence software can improve the detection & management of actionable nodules in the lung cancer pathway, leading to better & more appropriate follow-up for at-risk patients. This has the potential to free up valuable radiology time & contribute to earlier diagnosis, thereby improving the life chances of those who face the prospect of this deadly disease. “We are immensely grateful to the NHS teams who are working with us to make this study possible.


Hugh Harvey, Managing Director at Hardian Health, added:

“Digital health technology has enormous potential to improve detection of disease, leading to better health outcomes & longer patient survival. We will be examining the value of such benefits, & associated costs, through our health economic modelling & will be evaluating the case for national adoption at scale.”


Timeline & expected results

Aidence’s Veye Lung Nodules will be implemented in 20 new hospitals in the UK. Six of these will participate in the evaluation. The research sites will be confirmed by the end of the year. The results of the study will be released in reports & scientific publications in 2022.

David King, Project & Delivery Manager at Aidence, on the expected results:

The NHS AI Award is a unique opportunity for us to generate real-world evidence of the impact new & emerging technologies can make to health & care outcomes. This will only improve trust & encourage adoption of proven tools that can make a lasting difference.


Dr Indra Joshi, Director of AI, NHSX, said:

Using AI technology like Veye to help with early diagnosis & treatment of lung cancer will have a huge impact on people's chances of recovery. The AI Award funding is going where it is needed most - testing AI innovations that are tackling some of the biggest killers.


Dan Bamford, Deputy Director AI Award, Accelerated Access Collaborative, added:

I am excited to see 20 hospitals signed up to trials for the Veye Lung Nodule technology. Getting real-world testing is an essential part of our evaluation through the AI Award & will help to ensure that AI is used safely & ethically for health & care.


Early lung cancer detection

Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer worldwide. In the UK, it costs the economy an estimated £2.4 billion each year & is also the second biggest contributor to health disparities.

Earlier detection & diagnosis can have life-changing consequences for those affected. It increases the likelihood of successful treatment & long-term survival while avoiding the massive costs of late-stage treatments.

David King, on behalf of Aidence:

This year, over 52,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with lung cancer. Until we can improve detection of the disease at its earliest stages, when it is still treatable, lung cancer will continue to remain the UK's biggest cancer killer. We are proud to partner with the NHS to explore how AI technology can improve the life chances of everyone affected by this devastating disease.



About Aidence

Aidence was founded in November 2015 by Mark-Jan Harte (CEO) & Jeroen van Duffelen (CBO). Based in the Netherlands & the UK, Aidence rallies over 60 data scientists, software engineers, medical, regulatory, & business professionals to provide intelligent software for the oncology pathway.


About Hardian Health

Hardian Health is a clinical digital consultancy helping startups & tech developers to tailor their strategic approach by focusing on scientific validity, regulations, health economics & procurement.


About the University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a public research university. It is one of Scotland's four ancient universities & the sixth-oldest university in continuous operation in the English-speaking world.


About the AI award

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Health & Care Award aims to benefit patients by combining the power of artificial intelligence with the expertise of the NHS to improve health & care outcomes.

The Award is making £140 million available over four years to accelerate the testing & evaluation of technologies most likely to meet the aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. It is delivered by NHSx in partnership with the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) & the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).


[1]INPACT -  Investigating Nodule Protocol Adherence using CADe/x Technology: A real world evaluation of the impact on, & outcomes from, radiology decision making using AI software for pulmonary nodule management.




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Novel research aims to show the impact of AI on radiology decision making in lung cancer care.

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