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Innovative data science Phase 2 project launched!

7th August 2018


We are delighted to announce that Canon Medical Research Europe has been awarded Phase 2 funding for our Innovative data science solutions to improve cancer care and outcomes in Scotland competition.

Canon Medical Research Europe has been awarded £140k to embark on a six month phase for development and evaluation of a proof of concept/prototype. Further information about the project can be found here.


All three projects from Phase 1 achieved a great deal during their three month feasibility phase and we hope to bring you news of what Jayex Technology and Sharpe Analytics have been up to since their time as part of the Cancer Innovation Challenge. 

In the meantime, we would like to congratulate Canon Medical Research Europe on their Phase 2 success and we look forward to bringing you updates on how their project is progressing. 


From our press release issued 7 August 2018


  • Edinburgh-based firm is working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on an AI project to assess Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) tumours, also known as the ‘asbestos cancer’

  • Phase II project funding is awarded from the Cancer Innovation Challenge

  • The prototype developed could pave the way to save time, money and lives in the fight against cancer

Canon Medical Research Europe has been awarded £140,000 to develop a prototype that combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) and medical imaging technology to improve assessment for one of the most difficult cancers to manage, Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM). 

The Cancer Innovation Challenge aims to inspire novel data and technology innovations to help Scotland become a world leader in cancer care. Funded by Scottish Government through the Scottish Funding Council and delivered by three Scottish innovation centres led by The Data Lab, this Phase II funding focuses on identifying innovative ways to improve cancer treatment and outcomes using data science.

Working with renowned mesothelioma physician and researcher, Dr Kevin Blyth of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Canon Medical is seeking to show that AI can be an effective tool in the fight against this particularly challenging cancer.

If successful, the company hopes to start development on an AI tool that will recognise, assess and measure cancer tumours, while contributing to the growing body of evidence for how AI can help medical advancement across the world.   

Scotland has one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma, sometimes known as ‘asbestos cancer’, in the world. Unlike most types of tumour, which are roughly spherical in shape, mesothelioma grows in a skin-like manner around the lung. This makes measuring its size much more time-consuming and error-prone than for other cancers. Without a reliable measurement it is very difficult to gauge how well a treatment is working, or to choose the most effective treatment for each patient.

This project will develop AI technology that rapidly and accurately measures the size of the mesothelioma tumour, which could form an important component of a precision medicine system for treating patients with the disease.

The project team also hopes that an AI-based assessment tool could have a positive impact on the cost of cancer drugs. This is because clinical trials may become more efficient using AI tools to determine whether new drugs are having a useful effect. AI systems have the potential to make these assessments more accurate and less expensive than current human reporting systems.

Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee MSP said:

Most of us will have been affected by cancer at some stage either personally or through family members. This research, if successful, will bring us closer to vital advances in cancer treatment through data science.

I am really pleased to hear of Canon Medical’s success in Phase II of the Cancer Innovation Challenge. This is a great example of how our investment in innovation is supporting advancements in Artificial Intelligence to deliver better outcomes for the people of Scotland.”

Dr Ken Sutherland, Company President of Canon Medical Research Europe, said:

Canon Medical is fully focused on improving the lives of patients and providing the latest and most advanced clinical decision support tools to clinicians. We are actively tackling those areas where our technology and know-how can make a significant impact on people’s lives.

“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.

Dr Kevin Blyth of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “MPM is an exceptionally challenging cancer to start with, but the possibilities are enormous using Canon Medical’s technology our clinical and research input. 

“While it is an ambitious project we are positive that whatever we learn will be valuable for advancing medical knowledge and taking us towards a world in which treatments are increasingly tailored, affordable, and successful.

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, which is leading the innovation centres’ support on the project, said: “We were extremely impressed with Canon Medical’s innovative concept and obvious commitment to best practice in data science, clinical input, and AI development for improving patient care and outcomes. We believe this research will go a long way to advancing medical technology and precision in Scotland, and across the world.


Download full press release here

For further information, please contact: Joanna Buggy or Candace Watermeyer on 07523 493 850 / datalab [at] (subject: Re%3A%20CIC%20Canon%20Medical%20release)



7 August 2018 - The Scotsman
7 August 2018 - Edinburgh Evening News
7 August 2018 - The National
7 August 2018 - The Herald

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7 August 2018 - FutureScot
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7 August 2018 - SBNN
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