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article imageCanada funds A.I. startup to create Country-wide health network

By Karen Graham     May 23, 2019 in Technology
Montreal - Montreal radiology startup, Imagia aims to create a Canada-wide health data platform. In collaboration with the Terry Fox Research Institute and a $49 million grant from the Canadian government, they will make personalized health care a clinical reality.
The new platform is called the Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP), and its creators envision researchers and doctors using it to best track the development and discovery of new treatments and cures for diseases. DHDP will initially focus on cancer, but there are plans to expand into other areas of medicine.
“The time to harness the power of AI is now so that we continue to augment Canada’s position on the global AI stage,” said Alexandre Le Bouthillier, founder of Imagia, which made Betakit’s 10 Montreal Startups to Watch list.
“By combining the experience of its clinical collaborators, industry, AI institute partners and the Terry Fox Research Institute, Imagia will fulfill its mission to make accessible personalized health care a clinical reality.”
The two companies plan to establish an AI platform connecting almost 100 partners across Canada - including healthcare institutions, SMEs, universities, research foundations, and four of the major AI research labs in Canada. This way, cancer centers, and research institutions will be able to share data quickly.
Not only will this platform lead to the sharing of new treatment protocols, but the treatments can be personalized to the needs of each patient and the scope of their disease.
The new investment is being made through stream 4 of the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program geared toward attracting and supporting businesses in Canada's most dynamic and innovative sectors. Imagia's latest grant of $49 million came from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Canada has become a world leader in AI, and fostering Canada's advantage in digital technologies is one of the pillars of the government's economic growth strategy.
Representing Imagia  Shelley Epstein  MSc  our VP of Corporate & Public Affairs  and our co-foun...
Representing Imagia, Shelley Epstein, MSc, our VP of Corporate & Public Affairs, and our co-founder Alexandre who is a keynote speaker at the annual New Brunswick Health Research Foundation meeting in Fredericton in November 2018.
This is why the government has supported the continued growth of five innovative artificial intelligence companies in the Greater Montreal area: Imagia, Keatext Inc., ARA Robotic Inc., C2RO Cloud Robotics Inc., and Roof Ai.
The Terry Fox Research Institute
The Terry Fox Research Institute was founded in 2007 and is the brainchild of The Terry Fox Foundation. The Institute's mission is to advance our understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer with the goal of improving significantly the outcomes of cancer research for the patient.
“The new Digital Health and Discovery Platform will help us to transform cancer research and care in Canada by enabling the new Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network to analyze enormous amounts of genomic and clinical data to find new and better ways to treat cancer patients no matter where they live in Canada,” said Victor Ling, president and scientific director at the Terry Fox Research Institute.
CT scan showing a cancerous tumor in the left lung
CT scan showing a cancerous tumor in the left lung
Lange123 at German Wikipedia
About Imagia
Imagia’s Chief Operating Officer Alexandre Le Bouthillier founded the company with his long-time friend Nicolas Chapados, Imagia’s Chief Scientific Officer by putting their extensive knowledge of AI and optimization to improve the future of medicine, according to Forbes.
Along with Professor Yoshua Bengio, a world-renowned pioneer of deep learning, the pair gathered a team of entrepreneurs, research scientists, developers, and clinical experts, to explore the development of applications in computer vision and the quantitative mapping of clinical information to bring the power of deep learning to digitized health data. And Imagia was born.
Imagia’s collaborative AI ecosystem is called Evidens, an AI platform that allows clinical researchers to undertake radiomics discoveries," said Imagia CTO Florent Chandelier, "delivering end-to-end frictionless experiences that are focused on patient & disease outcomes and that scale seamlessly through our innovative Deep Radiomic solution."
Evidens was developed in collaboration with Google Cloud. With Evidens, researchers are able to use the platform for lung cancer patients, leveraging computed tomography (CT) to evaluate if pre-biopsy imaging data contained information predictive of pathology results. They identified image characteristics that may be used to construct an imaging biomarker.
More about DHDP, canadawide health network, Imagia, Artificial intelligence, Cancer
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