EPSRC UK IMAGE-GUIDED THERAPIES NETWORK+

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: Imaging & Biomedical Engineering

Abstract

Image-guided therapy (IGT) combines simulation and modelling, imaging and sensing, computing, robotics as well as visualisation to improve the localisation and targeting of pathological tissue with surgical instruments and focused energy delivery. With the widespread acceptance of minimally invasive interventions, IGT is increasingly important for enhancing the capabilities of the surgeon and advancing the frontiers of interventional capabilities. Translating IGT innovation into clinical practice relies on effective collaboration, knowledge dissemination and sharing, because IGT is a cross-disciplinary and cross-modality field in which physicians, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists work jointly to build solutions. Deploying such solutions in clinical practice relies on effective management of the workflow and ergonomics of technology in the interventional theatre and on information exchange between systems within well-defined secure protocols that can pass regulatory certification and patient safety standardisation. The diversity and complexity of IGT systems positions this domain as a critical field to advance the possibilities of physical interventions through a coordinated effort, discussion, road mapping and vision that can only be facilitated through an EPSRC UK-IGT Network+.

Planned Impact

The primary impact of this proposal is to create a network to fertilise and enhance collaboration across UK IGT and promote relationships with industry and stakeholders with the ability to clinically translate IGT to realise patient benefits.

The Network's objectives of bridging EPSRC UK-IGT research activities among disparate research institutions and cultivating cross-disciplinary research ideas for future collaborative proposal submission will be achieved through a hierarchy of planned activities. With focused levels of engagement, the beneficiaries of the planned activities range from the entire community, to the partnerships within the Network, and, finally, the promotion of talented researchers that seek to work across the established IGT research themes and centres.

There are an estimated 3,100 medical devices companies in the UK, 80% of which are SMEs, which employ around 64,000 employees, and have an estimated turnover of £15B. As well as established companies, a vibrant UK SME community is emerging in the area of image-guided therapy, and our Network can have a key role to play in expanding this activity.

Publications

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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/N027078/1 01/06/2016 08/04/2018 £639,288
EP/N027078/2 Transfer EP/N027078/1 13/06/2018 31/01/2020 £463,769
 
Description Exploring the Commercial Potential for Improved Thermal Ablation Surgery Planning using Data-driven Modelling. 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provide funding through the Network to enable the project team to: Complete a business case analysis investigating thermal ablation applicator pathway planning for operations performed within the NHS. As an exemplar Trust, anonymised and aggregated patient outcome and surgery data will be collected at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. This proposed study would assess: 1. The creation of 3D models of the patients' anatomy from available volumetric Computed Tomography (CT) scans. These 3D models will include all relevant structures related to renal thermal ablation planning e.g. main abdominal arterial and venous vessels, kidney, tumour, bones etc. 2. The repurposing of King's College London's neurosurgery planning software (EpiNav) for use in abdominal applicator planning to producing safe applicator pathways ideally from a variety of surface-to-tumour angles to cater for clinician preference. 3. The validation by a team of interventional radiologists (IRs) of the feasibility of making adjustments to (i) the manual pathway used during the ablation procedure and (ii) the automated pathway using the standard-of-care 2D slices. 4. Based on estimated costs from stages 1-3 above, the commercial viability of such a product.
Collaborator Contribution 1. Safe and reliable patient-specific 3D models for this application could be created at an estimated cost of £400 per case. 2. EpiNav would require a refactor costing an estimated £25,000, but this would be a one-off cost. 3. Interventional radiologists agreed that the tool would be an improvement over the existing surgery planning methods. 4. The short-term cost savings to the average Trust is unlikely to make the procurement of such a product an attractive option. Unless costs can be reduced, this proposed product is not likely to be commercially viable.
Impact 1. Safe and reliable patient-specific 3D models for this application could be created at an estimated cost of £400 per case. 2. EpiNav would require a refactor costing an estimated £25,000, but this would be a one-off cost. 3. Interventional radiologists agreed that the tool would be an improvement over the existing surgery planning methods. 4. The short-term cost savings to the average Trust is unlikely to make the procurement of such a product an attractive option. Unless costs can be reduced, this proposed product is not likely to be commercially viable.
Start Year 2019