Data For Health, winner of the 1st AI Health Challenge, joins the Microsoft AI Factory community to begin support phase

21 June 2019

Paris & Castres, June 17, 2019 - Data For Health, a startup that competed in the first AI Health Challenge to detect melanomas from dermoscopy images of moles, has entered a support phase at the Microsoft AI Factory at Station F. For two months, it will be supported by Microsoft’s expert teams, under the supervision of the Pierre Fabre Group’s Digital Innovation Hub and its experts in clinical studies, who were the source of the use case.   
Data For Health’s aim while at the world’s largest startup campus will be to develop a new algorithm-based approach to grading solar erythema. This complex use case was previously submitted to participants of the last AI Health Challenge, which took place as part of the eHealth Summer University in July 2018.

The project, backed by the R&D clinical teams from Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics, is designed to reinforce the existing methods of determining sun protection factors and thus optimize the effectiveness of future photoprotective agents in order to better prevent cancers caused by sun exposure. 

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized agency of the World Health Organization, 232,000 cases of malignant melanoma are reported each year worldwide, and 55,000 people die of it. The Pierre Fabre Group has made the prevention and treatment of melanoma a priority area for innovation, backed by its complementary expertise in dermo-cosmetics (prevention with photoprotection products), medical dermatology (treatment of pre-cancerous lesions like actinic keratosis) and onco-dermatology (research and development of treatments for severe melanomas).  
Data For Health has the opportunity to immerse itself in the heart of the AI ecosystem:

Data For Health will enrich the AI Factory with its expertise in the health field, and in return will benefit from the assistance of startups in the community and support from Microsoft on the Cloud and Artificial Intelligence. We are proud to be working with the Pierre Fabre group and the Data For Health project in a co-innovation partnership, which is central to Microsoft’s strategy.”  Anthony Virapin, Director, Startup Business Unit, Microsoft France.

The young startup, represented by its co-founder Zyed Aouichaoui, confirms:  

Paul Tran, Adrien Tournillon and I are delighted to have joined Station F. The environment and resources made available by Microsoft will be immensely helpful in our research and its various related tests. The issue we are dealing with brings us face to face with many challenges, including technical challenges—to which we will apply our R&D expertise in machine learning and deep learning—and technological challenges related to the management and optimization of computing resources. This is precisely where our know-how, combined with Microsoft’s Cloud environment, will enable us to make a significant technical contribution to the prevention of skin cancer. 

From the Pierre Fabre group, Lina Autelitano, Digital Project Manager for the pharmaceutical division which instigated these two AI health challenges, adds:

We are delighted to have been behind this project. It perpetuates the group’s tradition of helping young entrepreneurs develop their health innovation projects and gives our clinical development teams an opportunity to interact with the exceptionally rich Station F ecosystem, with a therapeutic focus where patient needs are great.