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Walk-through cancer diagnoses and robotics muscles among groundbreaking projects backed by government

  • Six pioneering health technology research projects aiming to transform NHS healthcare delivery benefiting from £32 million government investment
  • projects include novel AI X-Ray scanner to diagnose cancer and osteoarthritis more effectively and robotic muscles to assist those who have suffered from a stroke
  • ventures part of the government’s commitment to help advance healthcare outcomes through its ambitious Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap and to increase R&D public spending to £22 billion per year by 2024 to 2025

Debilitating diseases such as cancer and osteoarthritis could be identified and treated faster and more effectively, thanks to 1 of 6 projects benefiting from £32 million government funding.

As part of a keynote speech on research and development at London Tech Week 2020, the Science Minister Amanda Solloway will today (Monday 7 September) announce 6 new projects aimed at developing revolutionary new technological approaches that aim to transform care and treatments in the NHS by 2050, helping to improve people’s quality of life as they age.

InlightenUs, led by the University of Edinburgh, will receive £5.4 million to use a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and infra-red lasers to produce fast, high resolution 3D medical images, helping to identify diseases in patients more quickly.

Working with the universities of Nottingham and Southampton, the new research will initially be developed for use on hospital wards and GP surgeries, and by 2050 aims to scale up to walk through airport style X-Ray scanners, which will be able to pick up detailed images of structures often hidden within the human body that can reveal tumours.

Another of the 6 projects, emPOWER, will be led by researchers at the University of Bristol, and will receive £6 million to develop artificial robotic muscular assistance to help restore strength in people who have lost muscle capability. This could include patients who have suffered a stroke or are living with degenerative diseases such as sarcopenia and muscular dystrophy.

Using these highly targeted robotics will help overcome the limitations of current wearable assistive technology of regenerative medicine. Often, these technologies can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear, and can require 2 people to put on and take off. Users can also find the movements too slow. Through using robots, emPOWER will provide life changing benefits for sufferers, restoring their confidence, independence and quality of life, all while reducing the cost to the NHS.