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Terry Fox Research Institute and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Re-ignite Digital Health and Discovery Platform with Newly Signed and Updated Agreement

Vancouver, British Columbia (January, 31, 2024) – Today, The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) and the Government of Canada announced the signing of an updated agreement, giving the green light for the resumption of the Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP) with TFRI as the sole lead recipient. 

“The Government of Canada’s continued partnership with the Digital Health and Discovery Platform will support the development of a privacy-first, digital health data network across Canada,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “In collaboration with new partners, the DHDP is leveraging artificial intelligence models to accelerate the implementation of precision medicine for Canadians.”

The original funding allocation of $49M from the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) remains the same with a new project completion date of 2027.

“We are thrilled to re-ignite this important national initiative and thank both the federal government and our partners for their confidence and trust as we move full speed ahead with implementing existing and new initiatives for DHDP under this next phase of development,” said Dr. Jim Woodgett, President and Scientific Director, TFRI. 

The DHDP mission remains the same: To bring precision medicine and personalized care in cancer and neurodegenerative disease to Canadians through the application of big data and artificial intelligence.

TFRI has engaged new technical partners, Bitnobi and that will bring skills and expertise that enables the DHDP to move forward with a national framework and platform to securely manage access to digital health data. CanDIG continues as a technical partner.

An exciting aspect of the project’s restart is the launch of new funding support programs for research and development, particularly in the areas of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.The project has moved from a system where equipment was installed in facilities to one in which data will be stored in a cloud-based system, eliminating the need for on-site equipment.

Work will continue on previous areas of focus: 

  • Refining and solidifying the data governance framework and network policies based on earlier pilots such as Pathfinder and requirements from the AI community. Funding and deploying the policy stack and data governance structures to the different data- generating members.

  • Enhance the DHDP Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and pilot project protocol, standardize data ingestion, and secure authorization deployed across hospitals.

  • Membership recruitment and engagement.

We expect the planning completed during our amendment phase and ongoing discussions with stakeholders will build on key milestones achieved in the earlier phase of the project:

  • Technical groups have developed a technical platform, demonstrating the use of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the platform’s functionality and proposed technologies, defining the requirements around the MVP (2022).

  • The DHDP held its first science forum, bringing together nearly 200 participants from Canada’s oncology and neurology research and academic communities (2022).

  • The ecosystem currently has 52 members to help mobilize Canada’s knowledge economy.

“We have used the last 19 months to enhance and improve our operational and  technological approach, in consultation with our members, and we are prepared to quickly ramp up,” said Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi, newly appointed DHDP Independent Chair and President and Scientific Director, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. “This is a great day for Canada. On behalf of the executive and current members, we firmly believe the DHDP will make a big contribution to the advancement of  commercialization, Big Data, AI and machine learning to transform health care for Canadians and to help  Canada continue to grow and shine in this important sector of the knowledge economy.”

For further information: 

Kelly Curwin,, cell:778-237-8158

See background on DHDP history and re-launch here.

Learn more about our technical partners here.