Canada launches the Digital Health and Discovery Platform

digital health

Canada’s Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development has recently 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 the 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 AI research labs in the country. 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.

Also through this investment, Canadians will benefit from more personalized treatments and a more collaborative healthcare system that is better positioned to maximize medical breakthroughs.

“By harnessing Canada’s strengths in health research and AI, we’re helping to usher in a new era of more personalized care that will mean better health outcomes,” the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development said in a statement. “We’re excited to see all the new health and biosciences innovations that will result from this collaboration.”

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 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.