The government of Austria has pledged its support to Lancor Scientific, a U.K. cancer research firm which uses blockchain to detect the disease. The announcement was made in an official press release shared exclusively with Cointelegraph on November 10.
Lancor Scientific has developed a device which detects cancer early with 90% accuracy and can further screen for multiple types of cancers. The device also records screening results with smart contracts on the blockchain. With the aim to achieve 90% accuracy in cancer screenings, it is now planning to open a research laboratory in the city of Graz.
The research center will be opened in partnership with the Technical University of Graz, the Medical University of Graz and the Sigmund Freud University, Vienna. The new laboratory will explore the market viability and roll-out of Lancor Scientific’s patented Tumour Trace OMIS (Opto-magnetic Imaging Spectroscopy) device and the utilization of AI and blockchain technologies, with the aim to deliver accurate, cost-effective cancer screening.
Lancor Scientific’s Tumour Trace device is currently CE marked for cervical cancer, which it screens at 90% accuracy, compared to the current accuracy of 60% – 70% for Pap tests. It has conducted trials at Southend University Hospital NHS. By using AI, the new laboratory aims to remove the biological mucus from samples, thereby making it even more accurate.
The device weighs a portable 5kg and is designed for ease of operation. The cost of a Pap test is approximately £30 plus lab processing costs. Lancor Scientific will be able to do the same in near real-time (less than two minutes) at £5-10 per test.
The device will be available in the market in 2019, and a minimum of 10,000 devices is expected to be produced in the next five years.
On the development, Aamir Butt, CEO of Lancor Scientific, stated,
“Finding cancer early is key to saving lives. Lancor Scientific has dedicated itself to making accurate and cost-effective cancer detection technology available globally. The vote of confidence from the Austrian government as well the partnership with experts at Graz Technical University allows us to continue that journey and provide a minimum of 10,000 devices within the next five years free of capital charge, with the capability of conducting 500,000 cancer tests per day. This is what we mean by making cancer screening available for everyone, everywhere.”
During the initial five years, the Austrian Government will be helping Lancor Scientific with funds to develop different facilities including office, research equipment, access to academic expertise and clinical trials management.
Austria has been receptive to the tremendous innovations and scope of blockchain technology. Earlier this year, Austria’s Ministry of Economy committed to a “9 point plan” to support blockchain technology. As per the ‘9 point plan,’ the ministry will formulate the Austria Blockchain Cluster (ABC) to enable startups to test nascent blockchain technologies and also, protect entrepreneurs/enterprises from regulatory and tax implications.
Highlighting the government’s interest in the promising blockchain technology, Austria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Margarete Schramböck said,
“Blockchain is definitely one of the new important technologies. In addition to Artificial Intelligence and Speech Recognition, it is one of the big issues we want to highlight in the coming period of the EU Presidency.”