Patients and clinicians across the Midlands – and potentially across England – are to benefit from a £1.28 m AI upgrade to radiology training facilities at County Hospital in Stafford.
NHS England – Midlands provided the funding to develop a new training model at the Midlands Imaging Training Academy (MITA), allowing one consultant to simultaneously train and supervise learners across all regional academy sites, giving other consultants more time to spend with patients. The new electronics and picture archiving suite (EPACS) is being piloted as a platform to develop AI learning and cooperation in imaging academies, with eye tracking teaching the AI algorithms based on human behaviours. Using the newly installed XRNET high speed education network and ‘state-of-the-art’ EPACS workstations, remote trainers can now teach and observe trainees in real-time, and link education facilities and other national academies to share and collaborate using high-definition imaging.
Health Education England said: “When used with the already successful extended reality lab (ERL), trainees could be immersed in different spaces – such as an MRI scanning suite or an A&E ward, providing lifelike, high-quality simulation training to teams of clinicians.”
Dr Ingrid Britton, Midlands Imaging Training Academy director, and Gastrointestinal Radiologist, said: “The investment from NHS England has allowed us to upgrade our facilities to provide state-of-the art imaging training to our imaging staff, with the potential to link classrooms across the Midlands. This expands our training capacity, and has allowed us to increase the number of trainees providing diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients on emergency, elective, and cancer pathways. The new simulation facilities for ultrasound supervision, CT and vascular diagnostic, and interventional procedural work, provide excellent learning practice to get students work-ready for the fast-paced clinical environment.”