Nijmegen, March 2020 - Thirona, Quirem and Radboudumc have successfully joined forces in the Radiology of the Future project. All three partners are situated in the East of the Netherlands and each has access to unique knowledge, skills and expertise in the area of smart and fast image processing. The targeted cooperation has recently resulted in a substantial contribution from the European Regional Development Fund. The Radiology of the Future project will specifically focus on cutting edge development of algorithms for Artificial Intelligence applications in the area of medical image analysis.
Funds for better, faster and more inventive imaging
Radiologists see right through us with all sorts of equipment. They create images of our body without opening it up. Thanks to this imaging, doctors can assess whether our organs are healthy or not. But this assessment can be better, faster, and more inventive, according to Thirona, Quirem and Radboudumc. With over 1.5 million euros in funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) they launch the Radiology of the Future project.
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Automatic analysis by Artificial Intelligence
Thirona, a Radboud university medical center spin-off, develops algorithms for medical image analysis. Director Eva van Rikxoort: “Medical images can be analysed easier, more accurately, and more effectively using the algorithms, a type of Artificial Intelligence or AI. It takes some time to develop an algorithm that functions just as well as the average physician, or sometimes even better.
But it has great advantages. For example, it reduces work pressure for physicians, and can contribute to a faster and more accurate diagnosis for patients. Currently, Thirona analyses CT scans of the lungs, particularly for patients with COPD, for hundreds of hospitals worldwide on a daily basis. In this new project we will develop new algorithms for cystic fibrosis and oncology.”
Quirem Medical, a spin-off from UMC Utrecht, produces small radioactive spheres (holmium microspheres) used mainly for treating patients with liver cancer and metastatic liver cancer.
Director Jan Sigger: “The spheres are injected into an artery and subsequently get stuck in the capillaries of the tumour. The tumour cells are killed by the local radiation from the inside. Imaging is essential for this treatment. To determine which patients are eligible, to follow the microspheres during the treatment, and to determine the correct dose for each tumour. Imaging is indispensable in this form of precision medicine.”