Philips and La Fe join forces to research medical imaging

From left to right: Director of Área de Imagen Médica of Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe, Luis Martí; Director of University of Valencia, Estebán Morcillo; director of Hospital, Melchor Hoyos; Director of innovation and strategy of Philips Healthcare, Diego Olego, and the director of University Politechnical of Valencia, Francisco Mora.

Philips and the Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe of Valencia have announced the launch of a programme investigating the developments of advanced applications of diagnostic imaging and of imaging assisted interventions. Diego Olego, head of Innovation and Strategy at Philips Healthcare, explained “we hope to start the project with studies of clinical and pre-clinical imaging but we hope to expand to other potential areas like clinical or engineering computing. Furthermore, the study will look at the improvements in work-flow in the healthcare departments.

With this in mind, Hospital La Fe and Philips will join forces with a shared objective of innovation, using the best technology as the tool for change. The Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe already has significant experience in medical imaging research, belonging to the Biomedical and Nanomaterials Research Network (Ciber-BBN), and with it´s Biomedical Imaging Research Group (‘Grupo de Investigación en Imagen Biomédica’ (GIBI 230)) accredited by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. The primary areas of research are the development and approval of imaging biomarkers, with which they analyse the biological state of tissues, and therapy guided by imaging with the use of new biomaterials.

We will work with scientists and healthcare professionals at Hospital La Fe in order to improve the flow of patients and the diagnostic and therapeutic confidence that can change the way in which medical attention is offered. A Philips scientist will work in collaboration with the researchers at La Fe. “As we progress into new areas, the Research Evaluation Committee will assess the possibility of carrying out new programmes and will invest necessarily to ensure the success of the project” explained Diego Olego.

He concluded that “Philips is a technology company that offers adaptive tools to healthcare services that see the most patients with very different illnesses. Our objective is to sharpen the processes by which system costs are lowered, whilst offering a care of patients and families that is constantly improving. This care can, and must, continue with time, and with patients before and after hospital admission to ensure a complete cycle of care”.

Their investment into the research is evident, and in 2012, the company invested 8% of their sales into research and development, proving their commitment to innovation. The company maintains diverse research projects in Spain, with varying reference centres in medical imaging, for example, the National Centre of Cardiovascular Research in Madrid and the Hospital de Sant Pau I la Santa Creu in Barcelona. Furthermore a programme was put into action in April at the University of Valladolid, developing activities combining training and investigation in magnetic resonance.

Research technology

Medical imaging technologies allow healthcare professionals to see inside the human body in a non invasive way in order to detect pathogens and to guide both appropriate treatment selections, and the application of necessary interventions and effective care following said treatments or interventions. Medical imaging plays a role of ever growing importance in treatment procedures, lending itself not only to surgical treatments, yet also those which are minimally evasive and guided by images.

The latest Philip´s diagnostic technologies will be used for the research, with a Resonancia Magnética Achieva de 3 teslas and an iCT of 256 slices designated to the studies.

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