The NHS in England will open a national artificial intelligence laboratory to enhance care of patients and research as part of a £250m AI investment by the government.

The move was announced by Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, who said the AI Lab will foster a team of experts to work on some of the biggest challenges in health and care, including earlier cancer detection, new dementia treatments and more personalised care.

"We are on the cusp of a huge health tech revolution that could transform patient experience by making the NHS a truly predictive, preventive and personalised health and care service," Hancock said.

"I am determined to bring the benefits of technology to patients and staff, so the impact of our NHS Long Term Plan and this immediate, multi-million pound cash injection are felt by all. It’s part of our mission to make the NHS the best it can be."

AI is already being developed in some British hospitals to cut missed appointment numbers and predict cancer survival rates.

The lab will sit within NHSX, a group consisting of teams from the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement tasked with driving digital transformation and lead policy, implementation and change.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the investment was a win for patients.

Today’s funding is not just about the future of care though. It will also boost the frontline by automating admin tasks and freeing up staff to care for patients," Johnson said.

"My task is to ensure the NHS has the funding it needs to make a real difference to the lives of staff and patients. Transforming care through artificial intelligence is a perfect illustration of that."