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Department of Oncology


Raj JenaDr Raj Jena (Department of Oncology, Consultant oncologist and CRUK Cambridge Centre Neuro-Oncology Programme and RadNet) and the InnerEye team at Microsoft Research have won the Best use of AI award at the Health Tech Awards 2020 for innovative use of technology to speed up radiotherapy for cancer patients. 

A machine learning tool that enables doctors to develop their own models for treating cancer patients more quickly has scooped a top prize in the Health Tech Newspaper (HTN) Awards 2020.

Known as Project InnerEye, this is a collaboration between Microsoft Research, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), and the University of Cambridge.

Winning first prize for “Best Use of AI”, the Project InnerEye Deep Learning Toolkit is the result of eight years’ work developing machine learning to analyse patient scans to speed up preparation for radiotherapy treatment.

It is now being used as a research tool to help cancer patients in Cambridge, as Dr Raj Jena,explained:

 “Starting radiotherapy promptly improves cancer survival rates and reduces anxiety in newly diagnosed patients. But before any radiotherapy can take place, the oncologist must spend a significant amount of time – maybe one or two hours per patient – making sure the radiation will be delivered to the correct part of the body without damaging any healthy tissue.

“Using deep learning algorithms, the InnerEye technology can carry out this preparation as well as an expert clinician in just a few minutes. This means the doctor’s time is freed up, enabling them to get patients onto treatment more quickly."

Microsoft Research recently made the Project InnerEye Deep Learning Toolkit available as open source, to help researchers and clinicians use the power of deep learning to help with the growing demand on healthcare, and to assist with the delivery of precision medicine for better patient outcomes.