Valorization

Valorization

The results of the projects should be advanced medical image processing techniques, enabling the integrated (quantitative) analysis and visualization of multi-modal medical imaging data, which should have been validated by medical experts for specific clinical applications. The developed image analysis technology should be transferred or be transferable to the interested imaging companies, leading to fast time-to-market (1-2 years) development of their product portfolios and worldwide commercialization.
Alternatively, projects can aim at novel Computer-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) and prognostic approaches validated with the clinical partners , resulting in licensing contracts with the same imaging companies. The involvement of clinical experts in all the phases of development and validation of the technology maximizes the chances of market acceptance. The results may also lead to new start-ups.
The availability of these new image analysis techniques should have impact on the daily routine of clinical diagnostics and treatment. First, it enables the medical specialists to deal effectively with the different anatomical and functional data from multiple information sources. Second, the developed image analysis techniques provide a solid quantitative basis for improved clinical diagnostics as well as clinical research in the hospitals. This leads to a more evidence-based approach for diagnosis, therapy planning, and therapy monitoring, and thus better, patient-individualized, treatment. Third, it is expected that developed techniques will play a crucial role in effectively carrying out large screening studies. Because of the targeted high accuracy and reproducibility, the size of patients groups to test a certain hypothesis in a clinical trial can be reduced, facilitating faster and cheaper drug discovery and development; this will be of great and immediate interest to Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) and pharmaceutical companies.
The market potential for advanced image analysis is enormous and on a worldwide scale: the daily interpretation of all medical data sets takes place behind workstations with advanced imaging software all connected to radiological picture archive and communication systems (PACS). This means that every hospital, research group, or pharmaceutical company will have multiple to dozens of concurrent floating licences of such software packages.
The CARISMA program intends to provide the tools for many of these applications. It is the expectation that within ten years almost all clinical imaging datasets will be diagnosed with computer assistance. This program will provide an essential stimulus to bring The Netherlands to the top worldwide in this competitive field.

Application perspective

Utilization is a priority issue throughout the execution of the program. Workshops, in which the output of the program will be discussed, will be organized twice a year; integration of the results and the existing expertise will be important subjects in these discussions. Experience from other programs has proven that in addition to user group meetings in individual projects, workshops with interdisciplinary contacts strengthen the overall effectiveness. The added value of such workshops within programs is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the field usually remains organized in such a collaborative sense after the end of the program (see the enduring effects of the IOP Beeldverwerking). This strategy will, furthermore, likely lead to new high-tech starters, which will generate employment for ICT professionals. In addition, the CARISMA program will provide a strong basis for Dutch participation in international medical image initiatives.
The program will have also benefits for HBO education in The Netherlands, by providing internships for HBO-students, stimulating their participation in workshops, and creating positions on a technical expert level after their graduation.
Partners in this program should have experience in the transfer of knowledge and/or software modules/libraries from university research groups to industry, either (major) OEM partners or SMEs. Successful execution of the proposed research program should lay a firm fundament for long-term collaborations between academic centers and industry. SMEs in turn will be able to license their new software products to their global partners, thereby reaching the entire world.