Medical technology centre develops eHealth and imaging technology for the medical system
MedTech Science & Innovation is a collaboration between Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital aimed at streamlining the journey from research to innovation and patient benefit. Now several projects have begun to speed the introduction of eHealth in the medical system and optimise the use of medical imaging within laparoscopy.
The purpose of the centre is to create closer contacts between Uppsala University Hospital and the disciplinary domain of Science and Technology at Uppsala University, as a complement to the existing long-term collaboration with Medicine and Pharmacy.
“Medical care at Uppsala University Hospital is largely based on advanced medical technology that enables highly specialised care. New pharmaceuticals are often discussed and are important, but the greatest difference now compared with a few years ago is in the enormous advances in medical technology,” says Sune Larsson, director of research and education at Uppsala University Hospital.
eHealth in close collaboration
The goal of MedTech Science & Innovation is to speed the introduction of eHealth in the medical system and optimise the use of medical imaging within laparoscopy.
Several research projects deal with introducing eHealth and are ongoing in close collaboration with care providers, patients and suppliers. The overarching goal is to develop knowledge that facilitates future implementation and improvement of existing solutions.
“One of the research projects focuses on implementing eHealth in primary care and is in close collaboration with Karolinska Institutet and Tiohundra AB in Norrtälje,” explains Maria Hägglund, who leads a fast-growing research group at the centre.
National patient portals
The research group is also leading a Nordic project focused on digitalization and eHealth services for patients and residents in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Estonia. The focus is on national patient portals and patient access to their medical records. Another project in collaboration with Harvard is studying patient online access to their medical records in Sweden and the United States and methods for increasing their use.
“The combination of close local collaboration and large international projects creates a dynamic work environment that has the potential both to contribute concrete benefits for patients and medical care and to become world leading in their field,” explains Hägglund.
New technology for image analysis
Orcun Göksel is also employed at MedTech Science & Innovation. He leads a research group focused on medical imaging technology and computer-assisted applications.
“We work to develop new technologies for image analysis and to adapt these for clinical use. As more and more minimally invasive operations are performed using laparoscopy surgery, the limitations for diagnosis and surgical procedures are shifting. Focus is on optimising planning of different interventions and the use of imaged information. This is all done to improve results and reduce related costs,” says Göksel.
Broad PhD school
Håkan Engqvist, a professor of Applied Materials Science at the Department of Engineering Sciences at Uppsala University, is the director of MedTech Science & Innovation. He explains that they are starting a PhD school that will have its first meeting before summer.
“We have about 10 doctoral students who will attend the PhD school for two years. They come from many different parts of the University, demonstrating our breadth within medical technology at Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital.”
FACTS: MEDTECH SCIENCE & INNOVATION (MTSI)
- A joint initiative by Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital begun in June 2017 and located at Uppsala University Hospital.
- The centre is co-financed by the disciplinary domains of Science and Technology and of Medicine and Pharmacy at Uppsala University and by Region Uppsala.
- It is focused on streamlining implementation from research to innovation and patient benefit.
- The centre focuses on four specifically chosen areas of medical technology:
– Radiation therapy within oncology. The Skandion Clinic with proton therapy is already established, but there is much to be gained by combining existing technology with innovations within image analysis and simulations.
– Medical sensor technology for advanced diagnostics without the need for surgical or physical intervention on a patient.
– Computer-aided surgery where procedures are first tested through computer simulation. Already used in some types of surgery but has huge potential for development.
– Implementation science and eHealth. The goal is to find out what is slowing the practical implementation of technology in medical care.
- The ambition is to create four combined positions between Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital that are similar to the shared positions held by doctors and other care staff. The idea is for 1 or 2 of these positions to be shared between Uppsala University Hospital and the disciplinary domain of Science and Technology at Uppsala University.