Image: Toshiba Asteion (Photo courtesy of Amber Diagnostics)
GE Healthcare (Chicago, IL, USA) is backing a collaboration among Quibim (Valenciana, Spain), Full Body Insight, and Oncovision (Valenciana, Spain) to build an innovative total-body PET/CT scanner for simultaneous whole-body imaging.
PET imaging, a safe medical examination, allows visualization of extremely low amounts of radioactive compounds administered to patients and provides functional information of processes occurring within the body. The High Sensitivity Molecular Imaging project goes a step beyond current PET technology with the goal of developing new applications of PET in biomedical research. The project aims to notably increase the sensitivity of such devices by increasing the axial coverage of the system. This increase in sensitivity can be used to reduce the radiation dose or acquisition time keeping the same image quality. A direct benefit will be obtained by pediatric patients and patients that need various diagnostic tests to evaluate the efficiency of treatments. In addition, the axial coverage of the system will enable dynamic acquisitions of the main organs of the body simultaneously, paving the way for new medical applications. Efforts will be invested to provide excellent spatial and time resolution in this complex system to generate images with very finite details in the highest contrast.
Quibim, with a long track record of building whole-body imaging solutions for systems biology problems, will provide the whole-body segmentation to perform automatic quantification of the PET images. Quibim is being joined by Full Body Insight, a company dedicated to the exploitation of continuous scintillator technologies for the application of total-body PET equipment, and Oncovision, a specialist in molecular imaging equipment. In parallel to the newly developed prototype system, slated to be ready in 2023, the initiative also supports the creation of post-processing tools to advance PET/CT image analysis. Software developers will deliver image reconstruction algorithms and identify pertinent biomarkers to build the image processing platform.
"We will create automatic pipelines to obtain a virtual in vivo dissection of key organs using AI and characterize radiotracer and radiomics features," said Angel Alberich-Bayarri, Quibim CEO and co-founder. "The output of this innovative collaboration will help clinicians reading a PET exam decide on which regions they must focus on to support patient diagnosis and prognosis evaluations."