SBRI Healthcare has unveiled the winners in the latest round of its development awards, supporting high potential cancer screening solutions.

The initiative, which is funded by NHS England and driven by the nation’s Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), will see 10 companies working on innovations for earlier and faster diagnosis of cancer awarded a share of £1 million.

The successful projects will each receive between £94,000 and £100,000 in funding alongside support from SBRI Healthcare in showing technical feasibility of their products over a six-month development phase.

All businesses will then have the opportunity to pitch for a further £1 million for further development and commercialisation of their technologies.

The winning projects include a digital platform to support GPs in identifying suspected cancer early using the latest evidence from multiple diagnostic pathways to recommend appropriate tests, investigations or referrals a patient in under 30 seconds, and a development to an existing artificial intelligence melanoma screening tool which assesses pigmented lesions at an early stage in a primary care setting, and could significantly improve the skin cancer pathway and patient outcomes.

“Earlier cancer diagnosis is now a major priority in the UK,” said Professor Stanley Kaye, Professor of Medical Oncology, The Royal Marsden Hospital. “There are opportunities for improvement at various stages along the cancer journey, from initial presentation to more personalised screening and treatment, and the range of successful applications reflects this.”

“We have seen some really excellent bids from small businesses in this round of SBRI Healthcare with a key theme coming through of the evolving interest in developing computer aided diagnosis, in both radiology and pathology,” added David Shackley, Medical Director of Greater Manchester Cancer.

“Such technology will I am sure, transform cancer care with faster and more reliable diagnosis by supporting doctors make the right decisions. It’s fantastic that companies are helping the NHS develop such solutions.”