Revolutionizing Medical Imaging (ReImagine) through Ubiquitous, Low-Dose, Automated Computed Tomography Diagnostic Systems

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


Imagine a world in which every individual can be routinely and extensively health monitored, in a time-efficient and safe manner, without having to visit an oversubscribed, centralised medical centre with limited access and appointment flexibility. Imagine a new clinical paradigm where early diagnosis becomes the standard, even in remote areas, within low-income demographics and for international travel, due to ubiquitous, modular, high-resolution X-ray imaging systems with automated diagnosis and live reporting; where frequent imaging contributes to a large diagnostic portfolio of individuals over time (whilst maintaining privacy) and advanced artificial-intelligence (AI)-based algorithms use these anonymous data sets acquired across the population to identify extremely early stages of disease - transforming preventative medicine as we know it. This is the 2050 that ReImagine will enable.

We will revolutionise the use of X-rays for medical imaging through low-dose, high-resolution and inexpensive computed tomography (CT) scanners, where highly innovative hardware and software components will be developed side-by-side to enable automated all-in-one pre-symptomatic diagnosis. Our vision will be enabled by developing highly sensitive X-ray detectors using scalable halide perovskite (PVK) semiconductors - materials currently making impact as disruptive photovoltaic (PV) technologies - for phase contrast X-ray imaging, in conjunction with AI-driven algorithms for image reconstruction, lesion detection and segmentation. This will realise quicker and more efficient healthcare delivery and prevent disease spread through extremely early detection of disease (e.g., those otherwise responsible for future pandemics) and for routine follow-up of oncology patients (e.g. early detection of cancer recurrence).

To realise this extremely challenging vision - combining breakthroughs in hardware, software and end-user application - we have uniquely assembled a world-leading, cross-cutting team from the Universities of Cambridge, Loughborough and Leicester, together with academic partners at the University of Leiden and industry partners in GE Healthcare, Scintacor, Cheyney and Immaterials Labs, bringing combined expertise spanning materials synthesis and scaling, characterisation and modelling, device assembly, detector physics, mathematics, CT systems development, and clinical radiology. The hardware will be interweaved with the software and algorithm development, with both guided by clinical insight, industry and case studies to ensure fit for end users.


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