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Funding for AI development for healthcare sector announced

Funding for AI development for healthcare sector announced
Funding for AI development for healthcare sector announced

Canada is investing about $15 million in developing artificial intelligence in healthcare, in a move federal Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne calls a “game changer” for improving the sector’s ability to help patients.

Champagne says the funding through the ministry’s technology cluster program in Vancouver will be invested in five medical technology companies, developing technology that can automate certain tasks to improve care.

The AI ​​initiative, known as the Health Compass II project, will use the $15.3 million federal investment as leverage to secure additional investments from partners to support its total $44 million budget.

Technologies developed through the program include a “virtual patient agent” estimated to improve patient engagement by 30 percent, as well as automation that streamlines administrative tasks and clinical documentation.

Companies developing the technology say implementing AI automation could save doctors hours of time every day, which they can spend seeing more patients or taking breaks to maintain their well-being and service levels.

According to Champagne, the latest investment builds on initial 2022 funding of $3.1 million for AI integration into electronic health records as part of the original Health Compass program.

“And this is technology that we can use today,” Champagne said during the investment announcement in Vancouver.

“I think that’s what people want to see, more efficient delivery, making sure their doctor has access to the latest information, making sure they can look at data and making sure we can help more people… this is a game changer in how we’re going to deliver (health).”