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24th March 2017

The Cancer Innovation Challenge was formally launched on 24 March 2017. The Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood announced it as part of her presentation #DataSavesLives: The future of healthcare innovation at the Data Summit, part of DataFest17.

The project's launch was covered in FutureScot and The Scotsman

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “If used in the right way, data can be a vital tool in our efforts to improve services, treatments and outcomes for people with cancer. This Cancer Challenge is about finding innovative ways of using the data that exists, while continuing to guarantee patient confidentiality. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this challenge, and the benefits it will bring to cancer patients and their families.

Gillian Docherty, CEO, The Data Lab, said: “There have been phenomenal advances in cancer care in Scotland over the last decade, and while we understand the outcomes of patient care, time and funding constraints sometimes limit our ability to analyse how cancer services could be improved.

The data industry will contribute £20bn to Scotland’s economy by 2020 and data has the power to help better provide better cancer services.

Scotland provides a unique test bed to explore how healthcare data might be used to help make better treatment decisions and better target resources. This funding will drive collaboration across Health Boards, industry, academia, patients, practitioners and cancer charities, enhancing Scotland’s ongoing commitment to improving care for cancer patients.

John Kemp, interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “A challenge to improve the prevention of cancer and care of people with cancer is good news for patients and for Scotland. Combining the different areas of expertise in the three innovation centres and the NHS will help Scotland become a world leading carer for people with cancer.”

The full press release can be downloaded here

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