Digital Supercluster Investment Will Improve Medical Diagnostic Imaging with Artificial Intelligence

Iris project will accelerate course of treatment planning, and improve monitoring and the accuracy of diagnostic image analysis

[July 14, 2022] Vancouver, BC – Iris is Canada’s first artificial intelligence (AI)-based co-pilot for diagnostic imaging analysis and course-of-treatment planning and monitoring. The platform is led by Synthesis Health, in partnership with GE Healthcare, Konica Minolta Healthcare, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and BC Cancer.

Diagnostic imaging is used to diagnose injury or illness, predict likelihood of disease, determine a course of treatment, and monitor treatment response. Increased demand for medical imaging services following the pandemic closures has resulted in increased volume and workflow challenges, impacting successful medical treatment and timely intervention.

Iris will increase the speed and accuracy of front-line course-of-treatment decisions and improve radiologists’ and other physicians’ abilities to consistently find abnormalities in radiological images. By reducing the variability of interpretation amongst clinicians, Iris can improve the interpretation of examinations and the quality of care to patients.

“Our government is proud to support this project, which demonstrates the full potential that artificial intelligence can have on the daily lives of Canadians,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This made-in-Canada solution will build resilience in our healthcare systems while further cementing Canada’s position as a global leader in artificial intelligence.” 

The Iris platform will be trained on more than 10 years of imaging data from Canadian health authority partners. The platform will combine a number of machine learning models to function as a trusted AI co-pilot for diagnostic imaging clinical decision support by reviewing every diagnostic test in real-time to identify abnormalities and analyzing every radiology report, leveraging natural language understanding tools for quality assurance, patient monitoring, follow-ups and syntactic and semantic interoperability

“Iris will democratize access to a modern clinical care pathway, regardless of geographic or socio-economic disparities, while improving the overall quality of patient care,” said Dr. Deepak Kaura, Chief Medical Officer at Synthesis Health. “Our consortium is uniquely positioned to leverage scalable technology, existing machine learning development platforms, and bridge  academia and industry expertise to create and integrate Iris.”

The project will also establish a National Advisory Council on AI in Healthcare with the goal of enhancing Canada’s reputation as a global powerhouse for AI in healthcare. The council will bring together key leaders from across Canada to share learnings, impact decision making and create a responsible balance between innovation and patient safety.

The project has a total investment of $13.5M, with $8.35M invested from industry and $5.25 co-invested through the Digital Supercluster. Learn more about Iris here.

“Advances in imaging technology and computerization not only enhance radiographic practice but also benefit patient diagnosis and treatment. Artificial Intelligence derives important insights to help transform health care. VCHRI is committed to increasing the breadth and diversity of talent in the digital technology sector through strengthening collaborations among public, industry and academic leaders.” – Dr. David Granville, Executive Director at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI)

About the Digital Supercluster

Ahead of the curve starts here. The Digital Supercluster is building a better Canada by growing Canadian businesses, creating a digitally skilled workforce and positively impacting lives across our country. We accelerate the development and adoption of digital technologies that keep Canadians healthy, address climate change and drive economic productivity. Through a powerful combination of co-investment, cross-sector collaboration, IP creation and digital talent development, we unlock the potential of Canadians to lead and succeed in the digital world. For more information, visit:

Media Contact:

Elysa Darling

Director, Government & Public Affairs

Digital Supercluster

Phone: 587-890-9833