Building on established excellence in medical imaging, Western University and London’s academic teaching hospitals, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), and St. Joseph’s Health Care London announced Tuesday a unique partnership with Canon Medical Systems Canada in advanced Computed Tomography (CT) that will advance patient care, research and teaching in Southwestern Ontario.
This new partnership includes the investment of a $4.5 million dedicated research CT, Angio Suite and portable ultrasound machine to be used for medical imaging research. London will also become home to the world’s largest installation of the most advanced CT platform from Canon Medical.
“London has an international reputation as a leader in medical imaging, and today we are celebrating a partnership that will build on that foundation of imaging excellence,” said Dr. Narinder Paul, Chair/Chief of the Department of Medical Imaging at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, LHSC and St. Joseph’s. “Thanks to Canon’s investment, we will, for the first time, have the same CT equipment being used for patient care as we are using for research.”
CT is used to provide critical diagnostic information through combination of thousands of ultralow dose, high resolution X-ray images to create cross-sectional images of the brain, the heart, lungs, abdominal and pelvic organs, and of the blood vessels. CT provides essential imaging for most medical and surgical emergencies and is the standard of care for routine assessment and evaluation of patients with a wide range of conditions including many cancers. CT is also used to guide interventions for diagnosis through obtaining tissue biopsies, and is used to guide minimally invasive treatment.
Because the research CT will exactly mirror the equipment used clinically, it will allow researchers to more quickly and readily apply their research findings to patient care. The research in London will focus on improving patient safety by finding ways to lower radiation dose, developing faster and more detailed imaging techniques, and personalizing the patient experience.
The partnership with Canon Medical also provides the opportunity to establish a training academy and a Canon Medical National Centre of Excellence in London. As new advanced CT protocols are developed and validated here, hands-on training will be provided for medical imaging teams from across the province, the country and the world.
“As Southwestern Ontario’s only medical school, we are very pleased that the partnership also provides for the establishment of a training academy,” said Dr. Davy Cheng, Acting Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. “We expect this training to attract interest from medical learners and professionals internationally, and we will welcome them to London to learn from our clinical and research leaders.”
In addition, LHSC and St. Joseph’s are acquiring six clinical CTs to be used for patient care, which will standardize all of the CT equipment at London’s hospitals. Two will be installed at University Hospital, three at Victoria Hospital and one at St. Joseph’s.
“The investment in these six new machines means a standardization of all CT equipment at London’s hospitals, and more importantly, ensures we will have the best available technology for patients – offering lower radiation doses with each scan, and producing higher resolution images enabling more precise detection and diagnosis,” said Dr. Paul Woods, President and CEO, London Health Sciences Centre.
“London is renowned for its excellence in imaging and has been at the forefront of significant advancements in technology, clinical translation and training over many years. We have been a city of numerous national firsts in imaging dating back decades. Today we take that excellence to a new level with an exciting and innovative partnership that will advance health care, teaching and research in our city,” said Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care London.
Following installation, further research to validate use and drive innovations can be done effectively and efficiently within the clinical setting, done by hospital-based researchers through Lawson Health Research Institute, the research institute of LHSC and St. Joseph’s. “London’s integrated health care and research community is well-positioned to make the most of this opportunity, which ultimately means we can continually improve care for the patients and families that we serve,” said Dr. David Hill, Lawson Scientific Director and Integrated Vice President, Research for London’s hospitals.