Austrian Government Backs UK Cancer Screening Blockchain Startup
UK medical technology (medtech) startup Lancor Scientific combined blockchain and artificial intelligence to create a cancer detection device that could be more accurate and lower-cost than existing systems. It could also deliver near real-time results and scale to be able to cover more patients than current systems.
A new research facility improving cancer screening globally
The Austrian government committed to support Lancor Scientific in opening a cancer research laboratory in Styria, Austria, in partnership with the Technical University of Graz, the Medical University of Graz, and the Sigmund Freud University, Vienna. It will focus on achieving 90 percent accuracy in cancer screening at a global level versus existing rates hovering around 60-70 percent in the UK.
The new facility will investigate the potential of Lancor Scientific’s patented Tumour Trace OMIS (Opto-magnetic Imaging Spectroscopy) device and its use of blockchain and AI, as well as leading trials using the device.
Austria will allocate grants to Lancor Scientific over a five-year period to cover equipment, access to academic expertise, and clinical trials management.
The Tumour Trace OMIS device detects the change of electromagnetism within patient’s tissues at the quantum level. Trials conducted by Lancor and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) have shown the device’s success rate exceeds the NHS’s current accuracy rates of 60-70 percent for cervical cancer screening tests conducted by UK pathologists.
Lancor Scientific’s device is planned to reach the medical market in 2019, with at least 10,000 devices manufactured and made available in the next five-years.
Blockchain technology to securely record results
The company, whose founders and advisors hail from medical, technology, and government backgrounds, will use blockchain technology in the form of a registry to securely host patient data involved in trials and screening.
Lancor Scientific uses an Ethereum-based ERC20 token named “Medici” to validate OMIS device records on the blockchain. Screening records are automatically added to the blockchain in the form of smart contracts and validated by its blockchain-based token.
Aamir Butt, Lancor Scientific CEO, said the “vote of confidence” from the Austrian government and the university partnerships will allow Lancor to “provide a minimum of 10,000 devices within the next five years free of capital charge, with the capability of conducting 500,000 cancer tests per day.”
Medtech, is a common use-case for blockchain technology with a recent study of pharmaceutical and life sciences professionals revealing 60 percent are either using or experimenting with blockchain.
Austria – advocating for blockchain in Europe
Austria is also at the forefront of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Most recently, its Ministry of Economy committed to a nine-point plan to support blockchain technology in 2018. The plan includes the creation of sandboxes free from regulatory and tax pressures for entrepreneurs to test blockchain use-cases.
“Blockchain is definitely one of the new important technologies, said Margarete Schramböck Austrian Minister of Economic Affairs speaking earlier in the year. “In addition to Artificial Intelligence and Speech Recognition, it is one of the big issues we want to highlight in the coming period of the EU Presidency.” Austria will retain the EU presidency until December 2018 when Romania will take over the presidency until mid-2019.
Image credit: Lancor Scientific
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