New London MRI centre to use AI to help improve patient care

Radiographer and patient in Mary Seacole MRI Centre  (Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust)
Radiographer and patient in Mary Seacole MRI Centre (Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust)

A new medical imaging centre at a London hospital will use artificial intelligence (AI) with MRI scanners to improve patient care.

The £10.5 million Mary Seacole MRI Centre, shared between Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London, will enable an extra 7,000 patients a year to be scanned.

Clinicians hope that the developments in AI will help advance patient care and cut waiting lists, which have grown to record levels in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.

Technology being deployed at the centre is already providing advanced imaging techniques and technologies for scanning babies in the womb and diagnosing cancer.

New scanners at the centre will help to deliver an extra 60,000 MRI scans and over 6,000 research scans, according to Guys’ and St Thomas’.

Lawrence Tallon, Deputy Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’, said the centre “will improve patients’ experiences at a vulnerable time and provide important research opportunities to develop our understanding and treatment of many conditions”.

Minister of State for Health Will Quince said: “This new world-class MRI Centre - backed by government funding - will provide an extra 7,000 patients a year with potentially life-saving scans and diagnoses; delivering ground-breaking research into new treatments and cementing the UK’s status as a life sciences superpower.”

Researchers at King’s are currently running projects on fetal and cardiac imaging which will uncover underlying disease processes. It is hoped this will help clinicians identify and diagnose problems much earlier.

The name of the new MRI centre was chosen by patients and the public in honour of nurse and businesswoman Mary Seacole, for whom there is a statue in St Thomas’ gardens nearby.