An engine of innovation
For over 20 years, the division, now headed up Professor Reza Razavi, has worked with Philips Healthcare, a key player in the design, manufacture and supply of medical equipment, across a number of areas, particularly those relating to the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. In basic terms, Philips uses the research carried out by King’s and translates it into new medical imaging technology and equipment, which can help both clinicians and patients. In 2008, the two partners signed a multi-million euro Memorandum of Understanding to work together on a new five-year research collaboration.
“Our relationship enables both parties to do many things that would not have been possible independently,” states Razavi. “Philips sees us as an engine of innovation for their products in our areas of focus. Our research helps them get ahead of the times and gives them a lead over their competitors. From King’s point of view, it allows us to engage with leading industrial scientists and turn our ideas into cutting-edge technology.”
Together, King’s and Philips have developed a number of new technologies, including the creation of 3D imaging techniques to guide catheters in the treatment of cardiac atrial fibrillation and the development of techniques for better diagnosis of congenital heart disease. These are being used in an increasing number of hospitals and are proving highly beneficial.
Developing new technologies and working with a commercial partner like Philips Healthcare ensures that the division’s research reaches clinicians more effectively. In turn patients benefit from more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment. More efficient scanning can result in shorter hospital visits, faster recoveries and reduced exposure to radiation. For example the new technology developed for carrying out cardiac catheterisation under MRI guidance eliminates the need for X-rays and allows clinicians to see blood vessels more easily. This has already benefited over 200 patients.
Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Philips Healthcare, commented: “We are very proud to be working in close co-operation with Professor Razavi and his team. Through these innovative research projects, we hope to find new ways of delivering cardiology care that will offer real benefits for patients and clinicians.”