IBM, Mayo Clinic establish medical imaging research center

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Mayo Clinic and IBM have created a collaborative research facility aimed at advancing medical imaging technologies to improve the quality of patient care.

The Medical Imaging Informatics Innovation Center (MI3C) is an extension of a Mayo-IBM research collaboration announced in 2007.

The “facility will allow us to explore projects in medical imaging and radiology that can help to provide faster and better information for our physicians, and in turn, improved treatments for our patients,” said Bradley Erickson, MD, PhD, head of Mayo’s Radiology Informatics Lab.

Driving the patient-centered projects will be a full-time team of Mayo and IBM researchers and development staff who will approach a list of potential projects, including:

  • Maximum-resolution organ imaging to provide physical (phenotype) information that parallels the current level of genetic detail available for the same tissue.
  • Image-guided tumor ablation to pinpoint and maximize efficiency of heat transfer probes used to destroy cancer tumors. 
  • Video swallow analysis to visualize and compare how stroke patients swallow in order to better determine the severity of their disability and help provide proper physical therapy as well as protection against choking.
  • Automated change detection and analysis designed to allow physicians to compare a new image with a previous one, eliminate what has not changed and to better assess what change has occurred.

The Rochester, Minn.-based MI3C will utilize high-end imaging platforms and computational hardware, including IBM’s computing system based on the cell broadband engine and blade technology, according to IBM.