Artificial intelligence-supported early fracture diagnosis: SBRI competition

Fund Name: Artificial intelligence-supported early fracture diagnosis
Project Length: Up to 3 months
Project Value: Share of £240k
Deadline: 24/07/2019


The challenge is to develop an AI or machine-based learning programme that can help healthcare organisations accurately identify whether a patient has a fracture. This is initially a classification problem (by assigning a value of yes, no or maybe).

In simple terms, the task, to begin with, is to develop an automatic system that, with a degree of certainty, can remove from clinicians’ workload those that are definitely yes or no, leaving them to focus on the more complex images. This is an initial step towards integrating AI systems into a mainstream clinical workflow within the NHS and could be a platform for building more intelligent learning systems.

Fund details

AI or machine learning could be included in clinical workflows to interpret peripheral limb radiographs for the presence of fractures, which in most cases are not reported for several days. This would help:

  • improve diagnostic accuracy and treatment
  • improve patient pathways and outcomes
  • reduce the growing deficit between radiology reporting workloads and staffing levels

Successful applicants must use an available dataset of peripheral limb x-rays and linked text-based reports from the University of Aberdeen’s accredited secure Grampian Data Safe Haven (DaSH). With these, they will develop AI algorithms to:

  • interpret the existing text-based report to categorise as a fracture or no fracture
  • interpret the radiograph image to identify the presence of fracture
  • develop an AI product with the required level of real-world accuracy to enhance radiology image interpretation in mainstream clinical practice

The competition is looking for proposals that:

  • improve peripheral limb fracture detection by non-radiology experts in out of hours environments within NHS Grampian
  • transform peripheral limb injury clinical pathways to improve patient outcomes and increase productivity by at least 20%
  • use the relevant NHS, academic and commercial expertise, data and infrastructure offered by Grampian
  • have clinical and commercial potential locally, nationally and globally
Phase 1: Technical feasibility studies

This means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services.

Phase 1 projects must start by October 2019 and last up to 3 months.

It is anticipated that the feasibility study R&D contracts will be in the region of up to £20,000, including VAT. This is for each project for up to 3 months. We expect to fund up to 5 projects. The assessors will consider fair value in making their evaluation.

We would welcome bids that bring together a consortium of sector specialists.

In phase 1, you must:

  • demonstrate the technical feasibility of your proposed innovation
  • establish ongoing collaboration between technical and clinical members of the project team
  • formalise any required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements and contracts
  • begin working with clinical and imaging data

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with others from business, the research base or the third sector as subcontractors
Get In Touch

If you think that you might be eligible for this fund, please Get In Touch by filling out the contact form below.

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