Accelerating detection of disease challenge

The Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund (ISCF) is investing up to £79 million in this challenge.

The challenge will recruit up to five million volunteers who have agreed to help in a new health project that will track their health records and potentially invite them to join further research studies.

New national resource

A new research organisation, Our Future Health (OFH), has been established to lead this new programme.

Over time the project will develop into a new national resource to support the development of new diagnostic tools and technologies.

ISCF funding is expected to be matched by a £160 million investment from industry and charity partners.

Managing chronic diseases and cancers

At present the healthcare systems across the developed world are facing an increasing burden of managing chronic diseases and cancers seen in ageing populations.

Many of these conditions are currently only detected at an advanced stage when they are much more difficult to treat effectively.

The programme led by OFH aims to combine health and other data in conjunction with artificial intelligence to accelerate how diagnosis can be made earlier and more accurately.

The project will support preventative strategies and earlier and more effective treatments to be developed.

Early disease detection

To deliver this resource, volunteers will donate biological samples (typically blood) for analysis and digital data to support research on early disease detection.

As well as repeat sampling of some participants, some participants will be invited to join further studies.

The participants will provide data over many years, which will be linked to NHS and other health-related records.

De-personalised data from this national resource will be used for approved research projects aimed at improving early detection, prevention and treatment of disease.

Therefore, volunteers will be contributing to vital research even when they are not invited to join individual future studies.

Investment aims

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: 14 January 2022

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