Research Healthcare - Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayQuantexa has announced the creation of a Global AI Hub for Health and Social Care in Liverpool using its Decision Intelligence platform. The UK-headquartered AI company has partnered with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Liverpool’s  Civic Health Innovation Labs (CHIL). The two organisations have used a £4.9 million award from the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) to make better, quicker decisions from NHS Integrated Care System data. The technology solution aims to improve services to patients and communities, especially for mental health services.

The Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust serves over 1.4 million people in the NorthWest of England. The trust already partners with CHIL on the Mental Health Research for Innovation Centre (M-RIC). Whose aim is to improve mental healthcare for all patients and service users. To achieve this aim, it is trying to make Liverpool a world leader in joined-up mental health discovery science. Quantexa, who will soon open its first UK regional delivery hub team in Q2 2024 co-located with CHIL, is partnering with M-RIC to develop better drug and digital therapies. As well as to better co-ordinate care services with its decision intelligence platform.

The collaboration will help bring together multiple data sources. And create a trusted data foundation using which the decision intelligence platform can create insights. Quantexa will work with teams from the University of Liverpool, NHS Cheshire Merseyside Integrated Care Board, and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Building Liverpool centre of excellence

In creating the new hub, Quantexa is also looking to create some local jobs. Across engineering and product-focused research and development roles. It currently has three open positions in Liverpool (17 in the UK). It is currently seeking a Technical Lead, Data Engineer and Senior Data Engineer for its Liverpool hub.

The investment will help establish Quantexa as a key part of the health and life sciences ecosystem in Liverpool. The partnership is an example of how it intends to co-create initiatives with the NHS, government organisations, and the private sector. To support in delivering data and analytics solutions that meet the healthcare sector’s objectives.

Vishal Marria, CEO of Quantexa
Vishal Marria, CEO of Quantexa

Vishal Marria, CEO of Quantexa said, “Quantexa’s vision is to work with university and NHS partners to address global current challenges in UK care programmes. Thanks to this OLS funding we can collaborate with M-RIC to improve care by making contextual data more accessible to providers and patients.

“Our investment into the Northwest region to support Mersey Care, wider NHS partners and the University of Liverpool is an important step towards supporting clinicians, caregivers, and patients with the right information to achieve better patient outcomes. Liverpool currently has one of the highest levels of mental health cases in the UK. This program has the potential to make a significant impact on under-served communities across the UK.”

Improving Health in the NorthWest

Interestingly, this initiative is not starting from scratch. It continues the work done by the Connected Health Cities programme. Which used big data to improve services across the North of England, including Manchester, Liverpool and Bradford. Professor Iain Buchan, Director of CHIL, W.H. Duncan Chair in Public Health Systems and Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Innovation, University of Liverpool, worked on this project in Manchester. He moved to Liverpool University in 2017. Setting up the Civic Data Co-operative and led several Covid-related research projects.

Buchan stated, “Our partnership with Quantexa Mersey Care and the wider NHS Cheshire & Merseyside Integrated Care System, supported by the Office for Life Sciences, allows us to bring forward patient benefits from data and AI technologies. We are focusing on the global challenge of rising mental health conditions, which hits the most disadvantaged members of society hardest.

“As mental and physical health conditions are deeply intertwined, especially in deprived areas like Liverpool, our work will underpin actions to improve patient journeys across whole systems of health and social care – establishing Liverpool as a global hub for health systems AI.”

Professor Joe Rafferty, Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, also commented, “Mental health is a crucial component of overall wellbeing, but many people face barriers to accessing and receiving adequate care, especially in underserved areas.  Our aim is to improve mental healthcare and treatments through advancing our understanding of how mental, physical and social conditions are interlinked and developing innovative research that brings together our service users with clinicians, academia & industry. 

“Working with partners such as Quantexa, alongside our colleagues in the University of Liverpool, we can use data and AI to achieve better quality care for patients with mental health needs, and ultimately, better health outcomes and wellbeing for all.” 

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

The announcement comes off the back of the disappointment that NHS England confirmed the bid by Accenture and US-base Palantir to operate the £480 million NHS Federated Data Platform. Quantexa has hoped that a partnership with IBM and that it was a UK headquartered organisation would help it win the deal.

This latest announcement shows that Quantexa is continuing its commitment to collaborate with the NHS. Interestingly, this partnership could be seen as a pilot for the federated data platform. If Accenture and Palantir fail to deliver on the project.

The hope is that Accenture and Palantir will succeed. However, the history of major public projects in the NHS and elsewhere does not have a happy history.


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