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MedTech uses blockchain for cancer screening

Written by Hannah McGrath
13/11/18

Lancor Scientific, a UK-based MedTech startup, has secured backing from the Austrian government to develop a cancer screening method that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to achieve 90 per cent accuracy rates.

Lancor will open a new cancer research laboratory in Graz, Austria in partnership with the Technical University of Graz, the medicial university of Graz and Sigmund Freud University in Vienna, to lead trials on cancer screening. The company will receive grants over the first five years of the lab’s operation from the Austrian government to fund its offices, research equipment and clinical trials management.

The startup has developed blockchain-based screening methods which have already been trialled with the NHS to improve upon the current accuracy of 60-70 per cent for cervical cancer screening tests by pathologists.

The research facility will explore the market viability and roll-out of Lancor Scientific’s patented Tumour Trace OMIS (Opto-magnetic Imaging Spectroscopy) device and the utilisation of AI and blockchain technologies, with the aim of delivering accurate, low-cost and near real-time cancer screening at scale.

Last month, Google announced that its AI tool, called Lymph Node Assistant (LYNA), could detect late stage breast cancer at more than 90 per cent accuracy.

Lancor Scientific has developed a device that is able to early detect cervical cancer at 90 per cent accuracy, and can further screen for multiple types of cancers. The device detects the change of electromagnetism within tissue on quantum levels.

The device will go to market in 2019 and a minimum of 10,000 devices will be produced in the next five years.

According to the World Economic Forum, 10 per cent of global GDP will be processed using blockchain technology by 2025.

The UK is seeking to position itself as world leader in developing blockchain technology, investing £500 million in blockchain startups in 2017-18.

Grant Shapps,a former chair of the UK parliamentary group on blockchain, said: “It is clear that blockchain technology presents a huge opportunity for this country to deliver a range services faster, more effectively and securely.”

Friedrich Schmidl, life sciences director at the Austrian Business Agency, said it was glad to support Lancor Scientific's "innovative technology as quantum spectroscopy combined with blockchain technology and artificial intelligence paired in one medical device”.