It remains to be seen whether AI developers in the medical sector will benefit from the UK's 'flexible' regulatory environment or find the lack of cohesion detrimental, say Jackie Mulryne and Beatriz San Martin of Arnold & Porter.

There is currently no specific legislation in the UK that governs AI, or its use in healthcare. Instead, a number of general-purpose laws apply that have to be adapted to specific AI technologies.

As a step towards a more coherent approach, on February 6 the government published its response to its consultation on regulating AI in the UK. This maintains the government's "pro-innovation" framework of principles, to be set out in guidance rather than legislation, which will then be implemented by regulatory authorities in their respective sectors, such as by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for medicines.

The MHRA has already started this process and signalled itself as an early-adopter of the UK government's approach. The hope is that this will lead to investment in the UK by life science companies as the UK is seen as a first-launch country for innovative technologies.

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Originally published by Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review.

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