NHSX AI Lab publishes a buyer's checklist for AI in health and care

26 May 2020

The NHSX AI Lab has published A Buyer's Checklist for AI in Health and Care (the "Checklist") to assist with the safe adoption of artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector. The guide follows the NHSX's report Artificial Intelligence: How to get it right, published in October 2019, which provided policy context and an overview of opportunities and challenges presented by the use of AI in the sector.

Prompted by pressure to incorporate AI applications to ease the burden on medical professionals brought about by COVID-19, the publication suggests questions to consider to encourage the highest standards of safety and efficacy. The Checklist aims to inform those in charge of procuring AI solutions in their organisations in their decision-making process.

The Checklist sets out the following ten questions for buyers of AI solutions to consider:

  1. Is AI the right solution for the type of problem you need to solve?
  2. Can this technology be procured through a transparent, fair, competitive process?
  3. Can this product do what it claims it can?
  4. Are the users of this product primed to use it?
  5. Does this product meet regulatory standards?
  6. What information sharing and data protection protocols would need to be in place to comply with your information governance policy?
  7. What agreements should you put in place to protect any intellectual property generated by your organisation through its use of this AI product?
  8. Do you have the necessary storage and computing requirements?
  9. Will your existing systems work effectively alongside the new technology to ensure a clear and reliable workflow?
  10. Can you manage the maintenance burden of this new technology?

The Checklist is a valuable starting point for procurement teams when exploring whether to invest in AI tools. It also reflects the complexity of procurement where AI is involved, including the challenges of establishing how well an AI tool will perform, ensuring that staff will understand the performance of an AI tool sufficiently well to use (and trust) it appropriately, emerging models for intellectual property (including the need for specific contractual protections), and the perennial conflict between data use and privacy.

The AI Lab will be producing a more comprehensive Buyers' Guide in the coming months.

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