“Are we all robots?” Read doctoral student Jennifer´s blog

Danica Kragic“Sometimes our lives seem better fit for robots, better for machines that can be programmed.
We work. We clean. We drive the kids. We’re not robots. We are human beings.”

As already told here, MedTech West and Chalmers doctoral student Jennifer Alvén is blogging regularly on the Chalmers website, and it´s always worth reading. Her last blog is about the last WiSE lunchseminar. Jennifer is in the organizing committee for the WiSE network, together with me (Helene). This time we were very proud to present Danica Kragic, professor from KTH who held an very inspirational seminar. Read Jennifer´s blog post about the WiSE seminar here>>

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MedTech West researchers in Paris on fNIRS2016 conference

Simon Skau, Paris 2016October 14th – 16th, Paris welcomed the functional near-infrared spectroscopy conference fNIRS2016. The conference was locally hosted by the Institute of Neuroscience and Cognition (INC) of the Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité.

This biennial conference has seen increasing attendance since its inception in 2010 when it was held in Boston, United States and now attracts more than 300 international researchers working in fNIRS. It has become the main forum for presenting fNIRS research.

The wide range of contributions at the conference in Paris reached from methodological advances, novel applications in cognitive and developmental neuroscience to clinical applications.

headAt the conference, Simon Skau and I presented our posters describing the Tetrahand and mental fatigue study.

Lina Bunketorp-Käll

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Elin Eriksson Hagberg blogging from Seoul and the 20th International Conference on Biomagnetism

The whole group in SeoulSeven collaborators representing the Sahlgrenska Academy and the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, and MedTech West was visiting Seoul, the capital of South Korea, to attend the 20th International Conference on Biomagnetism October 1-6, BIOMAG 2016.

The venue was COEX Convention Centre and Mall located in the Gangnam district. In the picture above, you can see (back row from the left) Lau Andersen (post doc at NatMEG Karolinska Institutet and collaborator in the NeuroSQUID project) and Justin Schneiderman. In the front row from the left, you´ll find Christoph Pfeiffer (doctoral student at Chalmers University of Technology), Emily Ruzich (post doc at Gothenburg University), Silvia Ruffieux (doctoral student at Chalmers), Elena Orekhova (researcher at Gothenburg University), Bushra Riaz (doctoral student at Gothenburg University) and me; Elin Eriksson Hagberg (doctoral student at Gothenburg University).

Justin´s talk During these days we got to listen to some of the foremost leaders of the field of magnetoencephalographic research and technology development. Justin Schneiderman, associate professor at Gothenburg University and MedTech West ,together with Lauri Parkkonen professor at Aalto University, organized a full day symposium on ‘Next generations sensors for neuromagnetism’, where Justin also gave a talk titled ‘High-TC SQUIDs for on-scalp MEG’.

Poster show timeTogether with the other PhD students, Bushra Riaz, Silvia Ruffieux and Christoph Pfeiffer, I presented my poster at the conference with content ranging from MEG hardware development to somatosensory processing.

Sylvia playing golf in SeoulSeoul is a place that offers a wide variety of things to do out-of-office. Of course we had to try screen golf, which is extremely popular in Seoul and is offered at many locations across the entire city, especially in business areas.

Bibimbap in hot pot and kimchi-pancakeThere is also an unlimited amount of restaurants, many of which provide korean barbeque. You often get bibimbap (one of the most common dishes, you can see it in this picture) and some side dishes served in “hot pots” meaning that the meal will still be cooked while you are eating, and also kept warm. Coming from Sweden, we also have to mention that the weather in Seoul this time of the year is excellent. Like a nice Swedish summer day- around 25 degrees. Our stay in Seoul and the meeting has been intense, inspiring and educational. We have made new and important connections with other research groups that hopefully will benefit our own current and future research.

Elin Eriksson Hagberg
University of Gothenburg

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MTW blog: PhD student Jennifer Alvén blogging at Chalmers


My name is Jennifer Alvén and I am a PhD student in the computer vision and medical image analysis research group at the department of signals and systems at Chalmers university of technology.

I have been a PhD since February 2015, and before that I started out as a master thesis student in the same group in July 2014. I carry out research in the field of medical image analysis with Fredrik Kahl as my supervisor, and in collaboration with MedTech West. Thus, you can sometimes find me in the MedTech West premises at ‘Röda stråket’ as well as navigating through the culverts of Sahlgrenska.

Broadly speaking, my research equals developing automatic algorithms for tissue classification and organ segmentation of medical 3D images. I prefer developing general methods (based on for example robust statistics and machine learning) that can be used for a wide spectrum of applications – so far I’ve worked with problems such as pericardium segmentation in cardiac CT/CTA, multi-organ segmentation in whole-body CT and brain MRI segmentation.

women-2-750x340pxOne of the projects I am currently involved in, includes coronary arteries classification within the SCAPIS project. Right now, my focus is to detect plaques given a cardiac CTA and a corresponding delineated coronary tree as input. My long-term goal is to teach the computer to (for example) detect stenosis, classify detected plaques and perform lumen segmentation, maybe with the help of the popular set of machine learning methods known as ‘deep learning’.

Though, research is (of course) not my only responsibility. This year, I have been supervising two of MedTech West’s master thesis students (Elvin Alcevska and Bolin Shao), and since September I am also supervising a master student doing her thesis at the biometrics company ‘Fingerprints’. Further, I am a teaching assistant in courses at the Chalmers Department of Signals and Systems (such as image analysis and applied signal processing) as well as I am attending own courses in mathematics, computer science and ‘soft skills’ (such as leadership and communication). Also, I am engaged in WiSE, which is a Chalmers based project aiming to create networks for women in academia.

So – why on earth are you right now reading a mere PhD’s biography? Well, right now I am blogging on the Chalmers web about the picks and perks of being a PhD, as well as other subjects ranging from current research projects I’m involved in to my view on gender equality in academia. Thus, following my blog will include…

● Getting my views on Chalmers gender equality agenda
● Following me to Cancún in Mexico for my first major conference
● Updates on whether I will manage to finish my licentiate thesis in time or not

… and much more of course!

Here´s the link to my Chalmers blog:

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3-year-old Hampus can now hear thanks to cochlea implant (CI)

Hampus with his mother Anette in Thailand last year

Hampus with his mother Anette in Thailand last year

– I felt as if my whole life came crashing down when we found out that our son was deaf , says the 3-year-old boy´s mother, Anette. We discovered that something was wrong when Hampus was six months and he didn´t seem to hear the fire alarm. Neither did Hampus react when his father was banging pots together. Soon Hampus had to undergo a long series of tests, which showed that he was almost totally deaf.

Six months after the discovery, their son underwent surgery. During an eight hour long operation, which Anette describes as the worst day of her life, all residual hearing was cut off and two cochlear implants were put in- one for each ear. Cochlear implants are hearing devices consisting of both an outer and an implanted part. Conventional hearing aids can only amplify sound, so the patient needs to have some hearing left. Cochlear implants usually have several parts including a microphone and a transmitter coil which are located outside the body. These components collect and transmit sound to the implant that was surgically inserted. The implant consists of a receiver and electrodes connected to the auditory nerve.

Hampus´ mother and father was somewhat disappointed after the surgery. They had seen YouTube clips of children suddenly hearing that either became terrified or overjoyed. For Hampus everything just seemed to be continuing as usual. The doctors told them not to worry since the surgery had been successful. They said it would just take a while for Hampus brain to learn what the electrical signals meant. Six months went by with no signs of Hampus hearing. But one the day Hampus turned towards his mother and said:
– Mom.

Two years after the surgery, Hampus has a larger vocabulary than his peers and his parents keep their fingers crossed that he will be able to attend regular school. They do not regret saying yes to the operation.

This blog post is originally written by Kristina Svensson and published by Medtech4Health. It´s been published and translated with Kristina´s permission. Read the blog in Swedish here>>

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Medtech4Health-dagarna hos MedTech West i Göteborg

Kristina Svensson från Medtech4Health

Kristina Svensson från Medtech4Health

Äntligen dags för min hemmaplan Göteborg! Helene Lindström och Henrik Mindedal från MedTech West hade satt ihop ett digert program med stopp på både Sahlgrenska, Chalmers och Wellspect Healthcare i Mölndal.

MedTech West är Medtech4Healths nod i Västsverige, vilket betyder att de har en viss finansiering och är en del i vårt programkontor. De är en centrumbildning som officiellt startade 2009 och basfinansiering av infrastrukturen står de fem parterna VGR, Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuset, Chalmers, Göteborgs Universitet och Högskolan i Borås för. De forskare som är knutna till MedTech West har hittills dragit in 100 miljoner i externa forskningsanslag.

Mingel på Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuset

Mingel på Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuset

Vi började med att besöka Sahlgrenska Science Park. Ett av deras aktuella projekt handlar om att skapa mötesplatser och event med syftet att främja samarbeten och kompetensutbyte mellan företag av olika storlek och att företagen ska synas mer i regionen. Om jag hängde med rätt finns det 480 företag inom Life Science i Västra Götalandsregionen. 50 bolag är hyresgäster hos Sahlgrenska Science Park och för 15 bolag funderar Sahlgrenska Science Park som inkubator. Det betyder att Sahlgrenska Science Park har skrivit avtal med dem och erbjuder dem aktiv coaching. Sahlgrenska Science Park utvärderar kanske 50 bolag per år och tar in fem nya.

Lina Backman-Strand

Lina Strand-Backman

Därefter hastade vi över gatan till Sahlgrenska för att höra Lina Strand-Backman berätta om Innovationsplattformen, en ny organisation inom Sahlgrenska med regionalt uppdrag. Intresset för denna presentation var stort. Jag trodde att jag hade valt en fiffig plats för att kunna smita upp och ta några bilder av publik och föreläsare. Tji fick jag, rummet var fullsmockat och folk satt i fönstren och i trappan så jag kom inte ut. Efter lunchminglet var det dags för Reidar att berätta om vårt arbete och om de aktuella utlysningarna.

Eftermiddagen ägnade vi åt att förkovra oss i aktuell forskning på institutionen för Signaler och system på Chalmers. Flera professorer och forskare tog sig tid att vara våra ciceroner. Det var precis hur intressant som helst. Fredrik Kahl berättade bland annat om en strategisk satsning på bildanalys, att skapa automatiska och exakta tolkningar av medicinska bilder från CT, MR mfl. Detta skulle kunna minska bristen på erfarna radiologer i vården och ge snabbare diagnoser i ett antal fall. Några exempel som de jobbar med är bencancermetastaser och aorta-stentoperationer.

På bilden är vi på mikrovågslabb med Andreas Fhager. Mikrovågor är en utmaning att analysera men om man lyckas kan man få mycket bättre bilder än med några av dagens tekniker. Bättre bilder betyder säkrare diagnoser exempelvis att fler cancerfall upptäcks tidigt och färre falska cancerlarm. Reidar, Andreas Fhager och Henrik Mindedal står runt en antenn-strut som är en tänkt ersättare till dagens mammografi. Istället för att klämma ihop brösten kanske framtidens mammografi är en skål med antenner. Det låter klart bekvämare och dessutom slipper man röntgenstrålar.

Här ovan skrev jag att Göteborg är min hemmaplan, något som stämmer ännu bättre in på Mölndal där vi tillbringade onsdagen hos Wellspect Healthcare. På den tiden hette företaget AstraTech och var ett dotterbolag till AstraZenea där jag jobbade. Eftersom Reidar Gårdebäck var i Stockholm höll jag och Henrik Mindedal låda i hans ställe. Enligt Helene Lindström som satt i publiken lät vi praktiskt taget som Reidar, vilket gissningsvis speglar antalet gånger vi hört hans version.


Jan Hörling som ni ser på bild härintill berättade att Wellspect är intresserade av att veta mer om vad andra gör och på sikt samarbeta med småföretag, kliniker och forskare som arbetar med projekt i deras kärnområde. Avslutningsvis fick vi veta mer om företagets storsäljare, olika typer av katetrar med låg friktion.Själva katetern och tekniken bakom har några år på nacken och utvecklingen idag handlar om smarta förpackningar som gör katetrarna lätta att ha med och använda. Ett av de mest uppskattade inslagen på den här turnén har varit minglen.

Denna gång hos Wellspect var inget undantag. Konversationerna var många och en del personer stod kvar länge vid ståborden i den eleganta ljusgården och pratade med varandra. Tack Göteborg för en inblick i vad ni gör!

Kristina Svensson, Wellspect4Health

Det här blogginlägget är ett sammandrag av två längre blogginlägg som Kristina Svensson har publicerat på Medtech4Healths hemsida. Ni kan läsa Kristinas originalinlägg här:



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  • Visiting address

    MedTech West
    Röda stråket 10B - "MedTech West house"
    Sahlgrenska University Hospital
    413 45 Göteborg

    Get in Touch

    Henrik Mindedal
    Director of Medtech West

  • Founders

    Detta projekt delfinansieras av Europeiska Unionen.