TECHNA and UHN representatives were at Imagia’s Montreal headquarters for an announcement from the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) that the Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP) project was selected to receive an investment of nearly $50 million from the Strategic Innovation Fund.
The DHDP is a project co-led by the Terry Fox Research Institute and the artificial intelligence company Imagia to build a pan-Canadian platform to enable the best minds in cancer research and AI to collaborate.
TECHNA and UHN were deeply involved in preparing the proposal, along with the Terry Fox Research Institute and Imagia. Developments in software and data governance approaches will go hand-in-hand to enable data sharing while maintaining patient privacy and trust. It will build upon existing tools where possible, such as Imagia’s Evidens platform and incorporating functions from UHN’s Data Lake, DART, and Cancer Informatics.
TECHNA will lead the open-source software development and change management initiatives to integrate these technologies in member hospitals.
DHDP will help power the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network, of which Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is a founding partner; The Terry Fox Research Institute received separate support from the federal government in the March 2019 budget to launch the network.
DHDP comprises 97 organizations, including research hospitals, AI institutes, not-for-profits, venture capital, the private sector, charities and NGOs. While cancer will be the first disease area for the DHDP and serve as the test case to build the platform, the tools will be designed for broad applicability and plans are to incorporate research on other major diseases in the future.