UK Space Agency to use space technology to fight cancer

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Technology developed decades ago for the space race is to be used in Britain to help fight bowel cancer, it was disclosed on Monday by UK Space Agency.

UK Space sector

New health technologies inspired by working in space will provide a real-time diagnosis of bowel cancer, the agency said.

A grant of one million pounds will help space technology improve early detection and diagnosis of bowel cancer through a revolutionary artificial intelligence (AI) system developed by Odin Vision, a spin-out from University College London (UCL).

A UK Space Agency statement said: “The project will use secure, high-speed satellite communications combined with bespoke data compression software, which is normally used for operating space missions.

“The project will create a cloud-based AI system that can support doctors when identifying cancer in patients.’’

Odin Vision’s Peter Mountney said: “We are moving into a new era of healthcare where Artificial Intelligence will support doctors to identify and diagnose cancer faster and more effectively.’’

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “It’s incredible that artificial intelligence technology first developed decades ago, and is being used to examine distant planets, will now help detect some of the hardest to treat cancers at their earliest stages.’’

Skidmore said with bowel cancer the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths, the innovation will be crucial in helping Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) prevent over 20,000 cancer-related deaths a year by 2033.


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