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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)
News article25 May 2022European Health and Digital Executive Agency2 min read

European Week Against Cancer and digital solutions: breakthroughs in diagnostics and cancer detection

EWAC22 - digital health

As the European Week Against Cancer (EWAC) continues, we want to shed light on the topic of digital health and care, exploring solutions in the making in the field of diagnostics and cancer detection.

Digital technologies can make a difference in the fight against cancer, offering solutions that range from early stages cancer detection to specialised and targeted cancer diagnostics.

Horizon 2020 also supports projects in the field of health research, joining forces with other programmes such as EU4Health and Horizon Europe health research (Cluster 1).

HaDEA is currently managing a number of projects under all three programmes that contribute to Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the EU Cancer Mission.

Horizon 2020 funded research projects

SOLUS: the project aims to develop an innovative, multimodal tomographic system to improve the diagnosis of breast cancer. It makes use of revolutionary concepts in photonics and electronics to develop novel components for the SOLUS system, and in particular an innovative smart optode, a small and low-cost device for optical tomography. The system combines optical methods, a smart optode performing diffuse optical tomography, and conventional ultrasound imaging as well as advanced quantitative elastography. SOLUS also developed an explainer video summarising the project’s aims, objectives and achievements.

PROSCOPE: Early intervention could prevent many of the 160,000 deaths from colon cancer in Europe each year. Currently, colonoscopies can can still miss up to 20% of precancerous cells. Proscope developed a novel approach combining conventional white light with advanced photonics and optical imaging that helps doctors detect bowel cancer in the early stages. A sort of “Google Earth of colonscopies”. The benefits of this Horizon 2020 funded project include also reducing healthcare costs by saving approximately €9 billion. 


Since 2003, the first, second and third health programmes have implemented the EU health strategy. The EU4Health programme is the latest and largest one to date in monetary terms, with a budget of €5.3 billion in current prices. EU4Health provides funding to national authorities, health organisations and other bodies through grants and public procurement, contributing to a healthier Europe.

Horizon Europe is the research and innovation programme of the EU for the period 2021-2027. The aims of Cluster 1: Health, include improving and protecting the health and well-being of citizens of all ages by generating new knowledge, developing innovative solutions and integrating where relevant a gender perspective to prevent, diagnose, monitor, treat and cure diseases.

Horizon 2020 (H2020) was the EU’s multiannual funding programme between 2014 and 2020. H2020 provided Research and Innovation (R&I) funding for multi-national collaboration projects as well as for individual researchers and SMEs via special funding instruments. Horizon 2020 has been replaced by the Horizon Europe Programme, which will run until 2027.

Relevant links

More from the series:

European Week Against Cancer kick-off: early detection saves lives

European Week Against Cancer continues: focus on researching effective treatments

EU Cancer policy

European Health Union

ERN Collaborative Platform


Publication date
25 May 2022
European Health and Digital Executive Agency
Programme Sector
  • Health
  • Digital
  • EU4Health
  • Horizon Europe
  • Horizon Europe Cluster 4: Digital
  • Digital technology
  • Digital transformation
  • EUCancerPlan
  • EUFunded
  • Medical research