Partnership with Siemens Healthineers will create a centre of excellence in advanced diagnostic imaging and therapeutics

Dec. 11, 2019

LONDON, Ontario – Continuing to build on the established excellence in medical imaging, London’s academic teaching hospitals, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, and Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry announced today a partnership with Siemens Healthineers in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), interventional angiography, cardiology and cardiac surgery that will create a centre of excellence in advanced diagnostic imaging and therapeutics in southwestern Ontario.

This new partnership includes the creation of an education, training and scientific research support fund in the area of advanced diagnostic imaging and therapeutics. Siemens will provide in excess of $1 million in support funding for research, advanced clinical applications, teaching and outcomes analysis.

“This partnership represents another important building block in the incredible foundation of imaging excellence that we have in London,” says Dr. Narinder Paul, Chair/Chief of the Department of Medical Imaging at LHSC, St. Joseph’s, and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “Not only will we become leaders in state-of-the-art imaging and intervention through the centre of excellence, but thanks to the research contribution from Siemens Healthineers, we will also have dedicated funds for critical research in cardiovascular and neurological diseases that will translate to improved services and outcomes for patients in London and the region.”

The research fund will support collaborations between research teams in diagnostic and interventional radiology, cardiology, and cardiac surgery, with imaging scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute, the research institute of LHSC and St. Joseph’s, and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s Robarts Research Institute, as well as research teams from across Western. These teams will partner with scientists from Siemens Healthineers to focus on improving both the patient experience and the outcomes in important cardiovascular and neurological diseases. The research funds will be leveraged against provincial and federal research grants to increase the funds available to the research teams.

“Collectively, Western and our partner institutions in London are becoming a global powerhouse, recognized for our expertise and facilities in imaging that drives discovery and innovation across a broad range of disciplines,” says Alan Shepard, President & Vice-Chancellor of Western University. “This partnership with Siemens Healthineers builds on our strengths, increases capacity to enhance patient care, and expands opportunities to integrate education, training and research for the benefit of learners and faculty. It’s a huge win for London and southwestern Ontario.” 

“Imaging scientists and clinicians, working on campus and within hospital walls, have positioned London as a leader in non-invasive biomedical imaging, conducting groundbreaking research that impacts health care here and around the world,” adds Dr. David Hill, Lawson Scientific Director and Integrated Vice President, Research for London’s hospitals. “With strong industry partnerships and working seamlessly with our hospitals and academic partners, we can build on this success. The advancements made here can be quickly translated into care within the very units where the testing is being done, which ultimately improves care for the patients and families that we serve.”

The centre of excellence will provide hands-on training in MRI, diagnostic, and interventional catheter procedures through development of advanced simulation and phantom models. Medical learners and radiologists, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and technologists in London and from across Canada will be able to access this centre to improve their diagnostic and therapeutic skills, which will in-turn improve patient access to skilled clinicians.

As well, LHSC and St. Joseph’s are acquiring six clinical MRIs and six angiogram suites to be used for patient care, which will include the introduction of the first 3T MRI in the region. University Hospital will acquire a 3T/1.5T pair of MRIs, and two biplane angiogram suites. Victoria Hospital will acquire a 3T/1.5T pair of MRIs, a biplane and two single plane angiogram suites. St. Joseph’s will acquire a 3T/1.5T pair of MRIs, and a single plane angiogram suite. 

“Investments in capital equipment, such as these new MRI machines and angiogram suites, are incredibly important as they will immediately translate into safer, higher quality care for the patients we serve – in this case it’s by offering the highest resolution images available, in less time, and with improved comfort for patients,” says Dr. Paul Woods, President and CEO, London Health Sciences Centre.

“London has an illustrious history of innovation that has been groundbreaking in shaping the scope and possibilities of medical imaging within the health-care system,” says Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care London. “This exciting partnership ensures our ongoing leadership and expertise in the introduction of leading-edge medical imaging technologies and is a critical step toward new approaches in imaging research and patient care.”

MRI is used to provide critical diagnostic information about the physical structure and the biological processes of the body. MRI scanners differ from other imaging technologies as they use strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves, instead of X-rays, to generate images of the organs in the body. MRI is widely used in hospitals to facilitate medical diagnosis and/or the staging of disease without exposing patients to radiation.

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 142 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 70 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca  

About St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Renowned for compassionate care, St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a leading academic health care centre in Canada dedicated to helping people live to their fullest by minimizing the effects of injury, disease and disability through excellence in care, teaching and research. Through partnership with Lawson Health Research Institute and our collaborative engagement with other health care and academic partners, St. Joseph’s has become an international leader in the areas of: chronic disease management; medical imaging; specialized mental health care; rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics; and surgery. St. Joseph’s operates through a wide range of hospital, clinic and long-term and community-based settings, including: St. Joseph’s Hospital; Parkwood Institute; Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care; and the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care. www.sjhc.london.on.ca 

About Lawson Health Research Institute
As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care London, and working in partnership with Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world. www.lawsonresearch.ca 

About Western University
Western University delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.

About The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is one of Canada’s preeminent medical and dental schools. Established in 1881, it was one of the founding schools of Western University and is known for being the birthplace of family medicine in Canada. For more than 130 years, the School has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and a passion for scientific discovery.

About Siemens Healthineers
Siemens Healthineers is shaping the future of Healthcare. As a leading medical technology company, Siemens Healthineers enables healthcare providers worldwide through its regional companies to increase value by empowering them on their journey towards expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving the patient experience, and digitalizing healthcare. Siemens Healthineers is continuously developing its product and service portfolio, with AI-supported applications and digital offerings that play an increasingly important role in the next generation of medical technology. These new applications will enhance the company’s foundation in in-vitro diagnostic, image-guided therapy, and in-vivo diagnostics. Siemens Healthineers also provides a range of services and solutions to enhance healthcare providers’ ability to provide high-quality, efficient care to patients. Siemens Healthineers has approximately 52,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available at www.siemens-healthineers.com

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