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November 27, 2017

Philips to Help Develop AI and Machine Learning Healthcare Industry, as Supporter of UK Government’s Early Diagnostics Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

  • Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programme pledges additional £4.7 billion to research and development over four years
  • Philips to support creation of next generation digital pathology and radiology programmes 

Guildford, United Kingdom – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a leader in health technology, is pleased to be associated with the government’s recently announced £4.7 billion Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Working with public bodies, industry colleagues, the Office of Life Sciences and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Philips will contribute to the development of artificial intelligence (AI) based and digital diagnostic solutions at scale. The fund will look to develop a trail-blazing digital pathology programme using artificial intelligence, and explore a similar programme within radiology. Philips is currently involved in a pilot exploring the use of networked digital pathology laboratories in Scotland, which could become a national model.

“Philips is proud to support this programme,” comments Philips Electronics UK&I CEO Neil Mesher. “We’re excited to be contributing to the possible development of a new global industry that utilises AI and machine learning. Philips believes that health knows no bounds and a campaign like this, which explores possibilities of accelerating diagnosis and improving  accuracy, could have profound implications in disease areas such as cancer where precision diagnosis can be critical to patient survival.”   


Philips is a leader in computational and digital pathology, and is currently working with three NHS sites in Scotland to explore the use of networked digital pathology services to improve patient outcomes across urban, rural, and remote areas. If successful, the model could be rolled out nationally. In Northern Ireland Philips’ recent acquisition of PathXL, a digital pathology software company, has seen the workforce double within 12 months resulting in growth in the local economy and creation of a globally recognised digital pathology R&D hub in Belfast.   


“Pathology is involved in 70% of the diagnoses made within the NHS1”, comments Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez Clinical Professor, Director of the Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence in Queen’s University Belfast. “In the UK, hospital treatments for over 75s have increased by 65% in the past decade1, growing the demand for pathology services. At Queen’s we carry out leading digital pathology research to help meet this growing need. We believe digitised pathology can help to efficiently improve patient care by reducing human errors associated with sample handling, minimising variations in the clinical interpretation of data, and offering tools for increasingly sophisticated sample analysis.”


In radiology Philips is a leading imaging equipment and service provider across the globe, with informatics solutions that securely co-ordinate and transfer patient data and images across healthcare delivery sites, providing fast access to standardised clinical images in support of improved diagnostic decision making.

The Early Diagnostics Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programme will support healthcare providers, researchers and imaging companies to develop and evaluate new solutions that can reduce healthcare costs, improve clinical accuracy and improve patient outcomes and experiences. A recent survey carried out by Philips Healthcare found that 56%2 of the general population in the UK who had a cancer related experience felt ‘connected care’ technology made their experience more positive.

To learn more about Philips innovations in digital pathology, visit Philips Digital Pathology Solutions website and follow @Philips_Path.  To find out more about Philips innovations in radiology visit Philips Radiology Solutions website.


1NHS England. 2014. ‘National Pathology Programme. Digital First: Clinical Transformation through Pathology Innovation’, available at (last accessed: December 2017)

2Data on file with Philips Healthcare, 2017.

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips' health technology portfolio generated 2016 sales of EUR 17.4 billion and employs approximately 73,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

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