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Artificial intelligence e-learning launched for researchers

artificial intelligence digital icons

Published: 30 August 2022

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) has developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) e-learning course in partnership with Imperial College London's Institute of Global Health Innovation and the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI for Healthcare at Imperial College London, to build AI awareness and knowledge for professionals developing and delivering research.

The self-paced training course is designed for clinical researchers that could benefit from AI methods. Specific groups include research nurses, research managers, full-time researchers and clinicians.

Over 200 users have taken part in the course, ‘Introduction To Artificial Intelligence For Clinical Researchers’. Key topics covered on the programme include:

  • the current landscape of AI and machine learning technologies, and how they can be used in the healthcare sector
  • key AI definitions and concepts, and an introduction to the evaluation metrics used to assess the performance of an AI solution
  • an overview of different organisations able to provide support with setting up and developing an AI research study in the UK
  • practical challenges of developing and introducing AI in healthcare, and regulatory and ethical requirements which are factored into its use

Professor Nick Lemoine, medical director for the NIHR CRN, said: “AI is increasingly being integrated into data interpretation and assisted decision making in clinical practice, and it is important this is guided by high quality research. Gaining skills in AI is key for our researchers, and this new resource has come at just the right time.”

Dr Ahmed Fetit, senior teaching fellow at the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI for Healthcare, Imperial College London, added: "When we developed this course, we wanted to demystify AI concepts and terminology for clinical research professionals, and empower them to evaluate the opportunities and challenges presented by AI."

Lord Ara Darzi, co-director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, said: “In the future, artificial intelligence will be vital in enhancing our ability to apply best practice and support patients in managing their health.

“We hope this course enables clinical researchers to explore the concepts of AI in healthcare and provides inspiration to create future leaders in this expanding field.”

The ‘Introduction To Artificial Intelligence For Clinical Researchers’ e-learning course sits on NIHR Learn, an online NIHR platform that’s used to deliver accredited learning programmes. NIHR Learn is available to anyone directly employed by the NHS, UK universities and other publicly funded organisations conducting and supporting clinical research.

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