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The NHS has backed eight new technologies that are aiming to transform the way cancer is tested in the UK. Among the innovations which will be fast-tracked into the system is the PinPoint test, a smart blood test that uses artificial intelligence to rule out one in five patients of having one of the nine most common cancers.

Professor Peter Johnson, Clinical Director of the NHS Cancer Programme, said: “Working out how to make use of ground-breaking ideas like the PinPoint test is key to improving outcomes for people with cancer. The companies and hospitals pioneering these innovative ideas are leading the way, and will help us to diagnose cancer earlier when it is easier to treat – potentially saving thousands of lives.

Thousands of patients are set to benefit from the projects which will be awarded a total of almost £10 million after an open call for innovation in cancer care last year.

“Today’s development funding, which is part of our open call initiative, is just one of many opportunities to attract and fast-track high-quality innovations into the NHS, supporting the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan and vitally, improving care for our patients. The most recent published NHS data shows that a record 246,000 people were checked for cancer in November 2021 – three times more than at the beginning of the pandemic.” Johnson added.

The NHS has a ‘Long Term Plan’ to see 55,000 more people each year surviving their cancer for five years or longer by 2028. Health chiefs believe the open innovation call is an important part of achieving this goal.

Professor Richard Gilbertson, Chair of the NHS Innovation External Advisory Board, said: “There has never been a more exciting and inspiring time to work in cancer research and treatment. The projects supported by these awards are the first of many new devices and diagnostics that we hope will bring us closer to the day when no patient dies of cancer”.

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