Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Agfa HealthCare contributes to innovation in diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease

Agfa HealthCare Institute partners with the Centre de recherche Université Laval Robert-Giffard to develop new technology for diagnosis of Alzheimer’s – a Canadian first

Quebec, QC – March 16, 2010 - Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of diagnostic imaging and healthcare IT solutions, announces today that it has launched a new initiative to help improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, in partnership with the Canadian Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, the Centre de recherche Université Laval Robert-Giffard and the Société de valorisation des applications de la recherche (SOVAR).  Agfa HealthCare will contribute to the development of a prototype IT solution under the Agfa HealthCare Institute – a new initiative leveraging collaborative partnerships to help facilitate innovation in the healthcare technology space.

The Alzheimer’s project* will focus on the development of a prototype that will combine a patient’s clinical information with the image features from the patient’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The results will provide physicians with all of the information they need to make a faster and more accurate diagnosis of the disease. Not only will the prototype help support the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, but it will also help physicians predict its progression and ultimately improve treatment outcomes for patients. This project, which will be underway over the next two years, is the first of its kind in Canada and the ultimate goal is to commercialize the technology developed through the research in healthcare institutions across the country.  

“Agfa HealthCare’s support is extremely important to achieving our goal of developing a functional prototype to help with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Simon Duchesne, Principle Investigator of this project at the Centre de recherche Université Laval Robert-Giffard (CRULRG). “Through this joint project, we are developing innovative technology that will help improve the delivery of chronic care in Canada.”

“Research in the healthcare field represents an important niche at Université Laval,” said Edwin Bourget, Vice-President for Research and Innovation, Université Laval. “Most of the research centres are implemented in hospitals affiliated with Université Laval, among which, the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec plays a major and determining role for mental health treatment, including Alzheimer’s disease, which is affecting so many Canadians today.”

For Agfa HealthCare, this Alzheimer’s project is about connecting the right people with the right information – and in order to do this, strategic partnerships are the key. The project falls under the Agfa HealthCare Institute, which was created to be a catalyst of innovations in Canada’s Health Informatics industry by facilitating close collaboration between government, the healthcare industry and universities across Canada to provide a fully integrated healthcare IT network across the continuum of care.

“Agfa HealthCare is excited to be a part of the Alzheimer’s initiative in partnership with the Université de Laval and the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. With Alzheimer’s disease affecting so many Canadians, it is so important for us to contribute to the development of new techniques to help in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease,” said Dave Wilson, Vice President, Agfa HealthCare in Canada. “Through our expertise in the healthcare IT space and our strategic partnerships with institutions such as the University of Laval, we are opening up doors to new ways of improving the delivery of patient care in Canada.”

No comments: