Royal Bolton Hospital’s radiology team has won a national health technology award for their pioneering use of Artificial Intelligence during the covid-19 pandemic.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust was the first in the UK to use’s technology to help medics monitor covid-19 progression in patients.

The tool automates the interpretation of coronavirus proliferation from chest X-rays, making it easier for healthcare professionals to monitor the extent and rate of progression of the viral infection.

The implementation of the AI technology provided almost instantaneous feedback to clinicians and also provided out of hours clinical decision support.

The HTN awards celebrate technology and partnerships making a difference across health and care and Bolton won the 'Health Tech To Shout About' category.

It is hoped that the use of the award win will help establish Bolton as a leader in the development of the use of AI as part of clinical workflows.

Dr Rizwan Malik, consultant radiologist who helped pioneer the technology at Bolton said: “I am really pleased for the efforts being recognised this way on both sides of the collaboration – one of the first of its kind in the NHS – where we have innovated and maximised the use of Artificial Intelligence technology for the health and wellbeing of our patients and staff.”

Dr Shaista Meraj, Consultant Radiologist at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, who saw the benefits of the technology first hand, said: “This AI solution has been helpful in giving the prompt initial analysis of Chest X-rays in COVID-19 patients. All Chest X-rays are then read by the radiologist ensuring safety and quality is maintained.”

“The pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for change and it has demonstrated great team work and collaboration among different specialties to implement innovative solutions.”