IDII as a Centre of Research Excellence is aimed at meeting two of the three healthcare challenges mentioned in the overall strategic plan, viz. (i) shifting hospital care to outpatient care and (ii) increasing the labour productivity of health professionals. This will be accomplished by a joint research effort of universities, industrial companies, and medical centres in an area of growing importance in clinical practice, viz. medical imaging, by which we understand the ensemble of imaging-based technologies driven by demands in and providing solutions to medical diagnosis and treatment.

The leading strategic principle of IDII is that innovation in medical imaging requires the close collaboration of three parties: university researchers, industrial developers, and clinical end-users. All vertices and sides of this golden triangle of medical imaging are essential to make headway in this high-technology field. Clinical unmet requirements define the imaging research framework of the university groups and indicate to industry in which directions novel imaging technology solutions are needed. Results of fundamental and applied imaging research at the universities may open new roads to industrial R&D and suggest hitherto unnoticed imaging-enabled diagnosis or treatment options to clinical specialists. And industrial medical imaging innovation has the proven potential of revolutionising clinical practice and of creating new challenges to university research as concerns optimisation of imaging protocols and of quantitative image analysis methodology.

The aim of IDII is to design and develop imaging-based technologies that will admit of reliably detecting pathology and pathophysiology at an early stage, so as to improve patient diagnosis and prognosis, and increase the likelihood of successful treatment. With accurately targeted image guidance, therapies may be customised to the individual patient and thus enable less-invasive procedures for more effective care, with fewer side effects, shorter hospitalisation, and reduced morbidity. Accordingly, the abovementioned first challenge (i) of shifting hospital care to outpatient care is met, with the added bonus of affording the patients who are treated by these innovative procedures a better quality of life. The second challenge (ii) of increasing the labour productivity of healthcare professionals is also met by the increased efficiency of image formation and image-guided intervention protocols, again with a bonus since the shorter procedures and lower radiation exposure will result in a safer working environment for the healthcare professionals involved.

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