Image guided therapy better for patients and society
Today’s patients are being treated with tomorrow’s technology at St. Olavs Hospital’s Operating Room of the Future in Trondheim and Oslo University Hospital’s Interventional Centre. Researchers are moving boundaries to provide benefits to the individual patient and society at large in the form of safer treatment and significantly lower health care costs.
NorMIT – Norwegian Centre for Minimally Invasive Image Guided Therapy and Medical Technologies
These operating rooms are in fact modern research laboratories that develop, test and implement new technologies, treatment methods and medications. Collaboration and task-sharing will turn these two hospital departments into a unified national infrastructure for image guided therapy and medical technologies.
The objective is to improve the efficacy and safety of patient treatment, reduce complications and shorten hospital stays, as well as to develop cost-effective solutions for the health care system and society at large.
Unique in Norway
Image guided therapy involves the use of images generated by medical imaging techniques such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance (MR) and computer tomography (CT) to plan treatment, guide surgical instruments, carry out treatment and evaluate the results. Modern laparoscopic surgery, catheter-based endovascular surgery and ultrasound-guided brain surgery are all examples of surgical techniques employing modern medical technologies. The use of such techniques helps to reduce surgical trauma, bleeding and complications. The research environments in Trondheim and Oslo are two of the leaders in their field in Norway and have played a key role in the development of methods and technologies internationally.
The Interventional Centre at Oslo University Hospital and the Operating Room of the Future at St. Olavs Hospital are seeking to become a unified research and innovation centre – the Norwegian Centre for Minimally Invasive Image Guided Therapy and Medical Technologies (NorMIT) – with a node in Oslo and a node in Trondheim.
Strategically important investment
The NorMIT project includes a comprehensive package for updating and modernising scientific equipment. The infrastructure will strengthen research in several areas of strategic importance to Norway as a whole: medical technology, ICT, nanotechnology, translational research and health innovation.
NorMIT has many potential users and will facilitate widespread cooperation between academia, industry and clinical medical environments, nationally and internationally.
The owners of the Operating Room of the Future and the Interventional Centre – St. Olavs Hospital and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Oslo University Hospital, respectively – are collaborating closely with the SINTEF Group on a grant application for establishing the national infrastructure.
NOK 103 million in funding has been sought from the Research Council to upgrade and invest in new scientific equipment to expand existing infrastructure at the Operating Room of the Future and the Interventional Centre and form a national centre for research and innovation in image guided therapy and medical technologies. The applicant institutions themselves are contributing a substantial amount of funding as well.
The Operating Room of the Future is comprised of six operating rooms which were completed in time for the opening of the new St. Olavs Hospital on 12 June 2010. Operating room inventory and scientific equipment will be procured on an ongoing basis as soon as funding is secured, and the planned national platform for research and development in image guided therapy will be put into place.