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Over the last years, medicine has been moving further towards providing a more tailored, patient-centric approach by taking into account as much information as possible to deliver personalised solutions for the individual patient; certainly, radiology and other imaging-based technologies have facilitated this to a great extent. But what will be the way for the future? What are the challenges that biomedical imaging can help to address? And of course, are there any funds available to support new research efforts?

The European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) elucidates these questions in their statement that was recently published in Insights into Imaging. EIBIR is a non-profit organization providing a network to various stakeholders (institutions and scientific societies) and supports research activities by helping with proposals, management, and coordination where possible.

For 2019, five major challenges have been identified where biomedical imaging could play a crucial role:

  1. Personalised disease prevention and therapy monitoring (e.g. brain imaging biomarkers in CNS tumours and neurodegenerative disease).
  2. Disease-specific, targeted, and image-guided therapies (e.g. theranostics in metastatic pancreatic cancer).
  3. Assessment of foetal and prenatal health (e.g. BOLD MRI in the assessment of placental function).
  4. Assessment of lifestyle and environmental impact factors on health (e.g. body fat and muscle quantification by MRI).
  5. Making Europe the world leader in machine learning and artificial intelligence in medical imaging.

Certainly, in the context of this blog, the last challenge is of special interest; however, it is not the easiest challenge to be met. The potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence is certainly huge, but to really leverage it, considerable investments in biomedical imaging research will be needed.

If you want to learn more about EIBIR’s strategic research agenda and how to get EIBIR’s support through its stakeholders, make sure to visit and read “Strategic research agenda for biomedical imaging”.

Key points

  • Innovative biomedical imaging plays a crucial role in personalised medicine, disease prevention and therapy monitoring
  • Innovative biomedical imaging technologies and analysis of existing imaging data provide solutions to current challenges and needs in healthcare
  • Appropriate funding for biomedical imaging research is necessary to implement innovative approaches addressing citizens’ and patients’ needs

Article: Strategic research agenda for biomedical imaging

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