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Minister Bains Announces Investment to Accelerate Medical Breakthroughs that Will Enable Truly Personalized Health Care

By May 28, 2019No Comments

From the discovery of insulin to stem cell research, Canadians have long been at the forefront of groundbreaking innovations in health and biosciences. That’s why the Government of Canada organized a competition for innovation initiatives at the intersection of data and our health and biosciences sector—to invest in better health outcomes while creating and maintaining good middle-class jobs across the country.

Today the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of up to $49 million in the Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP), a network of partners that seeks to establish a cutting-edge Canada-wide health data platform. Through this new platform, researchers and doctors will work to accelerate the development of new and personalized treatments to help to find cures for diseases that affect Canadians. While the platform will initially focus on cancer, the plan is to expand to other areas of medicine in future.

Led by the Terry Fox Research Institute and Imagia, the 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. Together, they will establish a Canada-wide AI platform that will connect to different sources of health data to accelerate research. For example, cancer centres and research hospitals will be able to quickly share data to test theories about how to best treat aggressive cancers and develop better treatments for each patient.

Through this investment, Canadians will benefit from more personalized treatments and a more collaborative health care system that is better positioned to maximize medical breakthroughs.

DHDP’s project, estimated at $159 million, will also help to create and maintain highly skilled jobs and provide training opportunities across Canada. It will lead to the creation of innovative new start-ups and support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses.

The Government of Canada believes that trust is the foundation for economic growth and innovation. The platform will be patient-centric and will ensure the consent of participating patients and the largest health institutions and uphold the highest standards for data privacy, security and safety.