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INOVAIT and Government of Canada invest $10.7M in AI-enhanced image-guided therapy technologies

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October 23-25, 2024 / Atlanta, GA

The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Founded by the Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) and supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), INOVAIT is Canada’s network focused on advancing image-guided therapy (IGT) through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and machine learning. IGT is the practice of using medical imaging to plan, perform, and evaluate medical interventions. The INOVAIT network supports Canadian innovators who are unleashing the power of AI through IGT’s precision therapy and treatment to streamline healthcare and improve healthcare outcomes.

Canada has tremendous strength in the research and development of medical imaging and AI technologies. We need to capitalize on this opportunity and leverage both these strengths to advance technologies that can improve clinical outcomes and healthcare efficiencies,” says Kullervo Hynynen, Co-Executive Director of INOVAIT and Vice-President of Research and Innovation at SRI.

Through this iteration of the Focus Fund program, the seven selected high potential projects will integrate machine learning capabilities into IGT technologies. Selected Focus Fund projects were evaluated based on their potential impact to innovation, healthcare, and economic development.

Focus Fund project members will invest an additional $21.3 million into these projects for a total influx of $32 million into the Canadian IGT sector. The Focus Fund contributions will help attract investments into these Canadian technology companies, create jobs for highly skilled professionals, and cement Canada’s status as a global leader in IGT and AI innovation.

“INOVAIT’s Focus Fund represents the natural evolution for promising pilot fund projects in the area of image guided therapy and helps attract key investments for these innovative Canadian technology companies. We applaud all recipients for the successful demonstration of their projects’ technical and clinical merits, creating highly skilled jobs and we look forward to seeing all progress made in advancing the field through artificial intelligence and machine learning integration,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Selected Focus Fund projects include:

MIMOSA Diagnostics: MIMOSA’s Focus Fund project will deploy a handheld multispectral imaging tool for nurses in long-term care homes to assess and treat residents at-risk of developing or have active pressure injuries (PI). With the support of their project partners, they will train advanced machine learning models to prognosticate tissue at risk of PI to identify patients and prioritize intervention.

Profound Medical: Profound Medical’s Focus Fund project will improve outcomes for men undergoing MRI-guided transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA) by leveraging AI across the three stages of their prostate cancer journey.

The INOVAIT 2024 Focus Fund announcement took place at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs attended and spoke at the event.

“Today, I was pleased to meet leaders in health care and to learn about new projects that will benefit Canadians,” said Pam Damoff. “By providing a platform to connect, educate and invest in the most promising ventures, INOVAIT is pushing boundaries and working to improve health outcomes.”

As of December 2023, INOVAIT has launched 75 IGT-AI projects, committed over $29 million to projects and continues to support its 97 project members across Canada in advancing IGT innovation, economic development, and job creation in Canada

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Full story: INOVAIT and Government of Canada invest $10.7M in AI-enhanced image-guided therapy technologies

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