In his 30 plus years at Philips Research Thomas has worked at the forefront of innovation in medical information technology and its application to radiology and cardiology. He pioneered innovative solutions in this rapidly growing field years before its importance led to the establishment of a Philips Healthcare business unit, in which he then became most influential. His research work on medical workstations and workflow management in health care has received international recognition.
In the early 1980s, Thomas first established and subsequently developed and provided the driving force for the medical IT research cluster in Hamburg. His long record of scientific activities in this cluster includes work on multi-processor systems for high speed image processing, medical workstations for image-based softcopy diagnosis in radiology, hierarchical image coding techniques for medical pictorial information systems, novel intelligent and adaptive user interfaces for medical workstations using knowledge-based techniques, application systems for advanced clinical conferencing and communication, workflow management in health care and specifically in radiology and cardiology, imaging modality workflow, and information management systems for cardiology.
The pioneering research work on medical image workstations for radiological case reading found worldwide recognition in the computer science community as well as application in Philips Healthcare products. These achievements demonstrated the efforts to look at technology from the end-user's point of view and for bringing information technology, medical application requirements and product visions together. The work on medical image workstations and on workflow management was also honored with the Philips Research Innovation Prize in 1997 and with the Eduard Pannenborg Award in 2002.
Thomas' international reputation is evidenced by his long record of scientific publications and by numerous invitations to give lectures, write papers and book chapters. He is a founding and continuous program committee member of the Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (CARS) series of international conferences.
More recently, Thomas got involved in growing the worldwide Philips clinical research program. As a member of the Clinical Research Board he initiated clinical research activities in China. Thomas' current responsibility is managing the clinical research program in Europe.