On Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Montreal, Quebec, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation Science and Economic Development announced that the government will invest up to $49 million in the Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP). The DHDP is a network of partners, including the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) that is led by the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) and Imagia. Their purpose is to work together to establish a cutting-edge Canada-wide health data platform which is patient-centric and upholds the highest standards for data, privacy, security and safety. The DHDP will greatly empower TFRI’s Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network. For the first time, cancer centres and research institutes across the country are joining forces from coast-to-coast-to-coast to advance a world-leading, precision medicine cancer plan, a roadmap to cure cancer, to benefit all Canadians.
The four-year project will leverage Imagia’s EVIDENS AI discovery platform and clinical collaboration ecosystem. EVIDENS enables federated learning on patient data across multiple hospitals and unites creative minds in both AI and healthcare to power discovery at scale. The platform empowers clinical researchers from different pan-Canadian institutions to derive outcome-based insights from real-world evidence and collaborate on AI biomarkers and clinical decision support systems. Imagia’s unique healthcare AI ecosystem gives hospitals, medical device makers, pharmaceutical companies, and diagnostics manufacturers the opportunity to benefit from a vast AI clinical solutions innovation pipeline to develop breakthrough advances in personalized healthcare.
The CAR is thrilled to be part of the DHDP network of leading radiologists and researchers and is looking forward to working to accelerate the development of new treatments to help identify cures for diseases. Radiologists and data scientists at institutions across Canada will be able to work within the research network to harness the power of medical imaging data sets and evidence to tackle projects using the platform developed and honed by Imagia and other partners.
The DHPD network will connect almost 100 partners across Canada, including health care institutions; small, medium-sized and large companies; universities and research foundations and all four major artificial intelligence (AI) research labs in Canada. The Canadian Heads of Academic Radiology (CHAR) are also key network partners, representing medical imaging departments at institutions across Canada.
It is anticipated that Canadians will benefit from more personalized treatments and a more collaborative health care system that is better positioned to maximize medical breakthroughs. The total investment in DHDP is estimated at $159 million, which will also help to create and maintain highly skilled jobs and provide training opportunities. This partnership will position Canadian industry as leaders in AI, foster the creation of innovative new start-ups and support economic development through the growth of small and medium-sized businesses across Canada.
Ultimately, the funding announcement demonstrates a strong commitment on the part of the Federal government to invest in innovative health and bioscience research models, which will have a direct and meaningful impact on medical imaging research, the Canadian radiology community, and our ability to catalyze improvements to patient care.
Dr. Mike Barry
Canadian Association of Radiologists
Dr. Gilles Soulez
Canadian Association of Radiologists
Dr. Marco Essig
Canadian Heads of Academic Radiology