Collaborating on solutions that make a real difference
Collaboration is not a new concept – in fact, ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ was a phrase coined by Aristotle back in 384 BC.
It is, however, a concept that is still very resonant, a concept that continues to drive modern innovation, and a concept Philips MRI embraces with open arms.
Quite simply, this is because it is a win-win situation. Researchers, clinicians, patients (and many others) bring us their expertise and insight, we mix it with our technical expertise and insight, and together we create medical imaging systems that they need, and that we are proud of.
As a prime example, Dr. Tetsuya Yoneda, Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Physics at Kumamoto University in Japan, first contacted us about his work on phase information in MRI data. It was quickly apparent Dr. Yoneda had some pioneering ideas on the enhanced visualization of susceptibility differences between tissues – how it enriches the contrast between materials, helping clinicians delineate fine anatomical structures and identify deoxygenated blood in very small vessels – so we formed an official alliance.
Philips experts began working closely with Dr. Yoneda, developing his findings and working out how to take a research project to radiology department.
A revolutionary software combining magnitude and phase information in SWI to enhance the quality and contrast of brain images, it means clinicians have a greater level of detail to support them in the detection of neuro vascular and neuro degenerative diseases.
SWIp is now available to Philips customers all over the world, proving a valuable addition in neurological imaging sequences. To name a few, Dr. Truwit, neuro radiologist and Chief Innovation Officer at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, and his team deploy the software in around 90% of the brain scans they perform. SWIp is also widely used at Kumamoto University Hospital where clinicians work closely with Dr. Yoneda.
All this early success has not stopped the Philips team and Dr. Yoneda from continuing to push the boundaries though. They are still working tirelessly to fine-tune and enhance SWIp, and to form more critical partnerships around the globe – for example, Dr. Yoneda and his colleagues regularly submit abstracts on susceptibility weighted imaging to international congresses.
It is a brilliant position to be in, and one we would not have reached without pooling our respective strengths, uniting our visions and working together.
Modern technology may have revolutionized the way in which we communicate and pool these ideas, but the age-old notion that collaboration helps create something that is stronger and better than the sum of its parts certainly holds true.
Courtesy of Dr Tetsuya Yoneda. Kumamoto University – Japan. Images acquired on Ingenia 3.0T CX
SWIp reveals information that was previously unseen
Philips has a long tradition of translating research into innovation and helping customers address their challenges. Engaging with the people who benefit from our solutions is an important part of what we do. Events such as ISMRM enable us to showcase new developments and talk to the customers who use them on a day-to-day basis.
Marc Van Cauteren
Director MR Clinical Science Philips Healthcare Asia Pacific
Marc Van Cauteren has a BA in Philosophy and a PhD in Physics from the University of Brussels, where his research focus was MR. His doctoral thesis discussed the use of spectral editing techniques and adiabatic pulses on clinical systems. He joined Philips Medical Systems in 1996 with the aim of setting up an MR clinical science operation in Japan and then in the whole of Asia Pacific. He began as the only clinical scientist but has since established a highly qualified team of experts who work across the region.
He currently holds the position of Director of Clinical Science for Asia Pacific and is located in Tokyo. The main responsibilities of his team are to ensure the quality of collaborative research projects in the region and to report on the specific needs of Asia Pacific radiologists and their patients, so that these can be reflected in new product designs.
As a researcher, his main contributions are in the co-development of clinical applications for SENSE and several diffusion weighted based techniques, especially the DWIBS technique. His research – also in other fields (including lung and breast imaging) – resulted in numerous product improvements and 70 well cited peer-reviewed publications. His most cited publication has more than 1000 citations and his h-index is 25. He was co-author on the first clinical paper on the application of SENSE parallel imaging. He also implemented the first clinically viable protocol for fiber tracking. In addition, together with clinical partner Dr. Takahara, he developed the DWIBS technique giving the oncologist a new tool to help diagnose cancers and to follow up on the treatment. Currently his main research interests are in functional and quantitative imaging throughout the body.
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