IDII researches, develops and evaluates image-guided technologies for early detection of pathology and pathophysiology, for reliable diagnostics and prognostics, for patient-specific therapy selection, and for efficient and effective planning, guidance and follow-up of interventions, in the areas of cardiovascular diseases,neurological disorders, and cancer.
Medical imaging is well suited to address the challenging combination of an increasing need for quantity and quality, a shrinking workforce and rising costs of our healthcare system. The role of imaging in medical diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment has expanded considerably. Imaging will enable therapies to be tailored to the needs of individual patients and to be more accurately targeted. In consequence, less-invasive procedures can be used for more effective care, with fewer side effects, shorter hospitalization, and reduced morbidity, and thus increase the quality of life of Dutch citizens. More efficient imaging and image-guided intervention protocols will lead to shorter procedures, lower radiation exposure and a safer working environment for healthcare professionals. IDII will significantly contribute to a shift from hospital care to outpatient care and will increase the labor productivity of health professionals.
Need for research and development
Patients are well aware of the rapid developments in medical imaging technology and are calling for optimized and individualized diagnosis and therapy. The rapidly increasing availability of custom-made biomarkers for optical, nuclear, ultrasonic and magnetic resonance imaging has a considerable potential to improve our understanding of disease processes. This, in turn, may lead to enhanced prospects for patient-specific prevention, diagnosis, disease monitoring and treatment, such as replacing conventional open surgery by image-guided, minimally invasive interventions and localized drug delivery.
Innovation in medical imaging requires close collaboration of university researchers, industrial developers and clinical end-users. Medical imaging academia and industry should join forces in a coherent program for research and development. This will achieve scientific and technological breakthroughs and fortify the currently already strong economic position of the Dutch medical imaging industry.
Aims and objectives
IDII aims to establish and execute a coherent and internationally recognized research and development program for medical imaging. Objectives include training and supervision of PhD students, post-docs and industrial researchers; acquiring funds from governmental, charitable and industrial sources to expand and advance the research program; and strengthening the national and international position of the research through cooperation with related academic and industrial institutes. Furthermore, IDII will transfer knowledge, methodology, software and technology from university research and industrial R&D to industrial production and clinical practice.
The market potential for innovative industrial solutions in medical imaging is high. Many of the Dutch university groups in this field are internationally renowned. This is particularly true of the academic IDII groups, who are leading in the core disciplines radiology, radiotherapy physics, MR imaging and medical image analysis. IDII’s main industrial partners are world leaders in several branches of medical imaging technology. Because of the strong position of university research and industrial R&D, IDII has an excellent setting for public-private partnerships in medical imaging science and technology.
At the start of the program, IDII set as objectives that the research would roughly lead to a doubling of its annual output of PhD theses, journal publications, conference contributions and patents. Now that the program is halfway, we already are close to having reached these goals. The deliverables of the program comprise high-precision image instrumentation and protocols for enhanced high-field MR imaging, hybrid imaging, and image-guided and X-ray-guided interventions, as well as methodology and software for registration and visualization of multimodality images, and for quantitative analysis of data for diagnostic and prognostic decision support. All deliverables harbour elements of scientific novelty, product innovation and improved patient care. The program finally aims at delivering demonstrators for optimal and less-invasive patient-specific diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.