Accelerating detection of disease challenge

The Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund is investing up to £79 million to build a group of five million volunteers to be tracked over time. This national resource will support the development of new diagnostic tools and technologies. It will be matched by a £160 million investment from industry.

Chronic disorders (such as heart disease or diabetes) and cancers are in many cases only detected at a later stage, when it is likely to be more difficult to treat and survival rates are much lower. As the population is ageing, health systems, including the NHS, are facing an increasing burden by late detection of these chronic diseases and cancers.

By using artificial intelligence and data we can accelerate research into early diagnosis and intervention, leading to better prevention and treatment of disease.

To deliver this resource, volunteers will donate biological and digital data to support research on early disease detection. As well as repeat sampling of some participants, participants will be invited to join further studies based on their risk of specific diseases. The participants will provide data over many years, which will be linked to NHS and other health-related records.

The investment aims to:

  • improve NHS-industry-academic collaboration and innovation
  • improve risk prediction, early detection and early intervention
  • develop a unique research and development environment
  • increase economic growth and new UK investment
  • improve data sharing, digital connectivity and access to data.

Last updated: 24 May 2021

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