£140,000 funding for cancer-fighting AI tools

An Edinburgh-based firm has been awarded £140,000 funding to develop technology to help combat cancer.

Canon Medical Research aims to show that AI can be an effective tool in the fight against cancer. Picture: contributed.

Canon Medical Research Europe will use the funds to create a prototype combining artificial intelligence (AI) and medical imaging technology to improve assessment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), also known as the “asbestos cancer”.

The funding was awarded as part of the Cancer Innovation Challenge (CIC), an initiative to inspire data and technology breakthroughs that will improve healthcare in Scotland, which is supported by the Scottish Funding Council and delivered by three innovation centres.

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The firm aims to show that AI can be an effective tool in the fight against cancer. It also hopes an AI-based assessment tool could positively impact the costs of cancer drugs, as clinical trials using AI may improve efficiency when determining whether new treatments are effective.

Ken Sutherland, company president of Canon Medical Research Europe, said: “MPM is a terrible condition for those that are unfortunate enough to suffer from it, and we believe that an automated assessment method using AI would be a major advance in fighting this disease and, potentially, other forms of lung cancer. The funding from CIC is critical to developing this ground-breaking tool.”

MSP Ivan McKee called the research a great example of how “investment in innovation is supporting advancements in AI to deliver better outcomes for the people of Scotland”.