Growing research team at MedTech West

Interdisciplinary collaborations for the benefit of the patient.

During the summer, four new professors have joined MedTech West in creating new opportunities for future healthcare. They are important new additions to our growing team, as they broaden our research activities in the areas of image analysis and eHealth. This not only enables a new platform of networking and collaborations but is also an opportunity for the Region Västra Götaland to strengthen its leading role in these areas.

– The addition of these professors marks a stepping stone in our long term regional effort of increased and more coordinated interaction between the different universities, the hospital and local industry, says Mikael Persson, Professor at Chalmers University of technology.

The research areas, image analysis and eHealth, offer great possibilities for future healthcare as they enable caregivers to make quicker and safer diagnoses. It also enables better surgical planning and guidance as well as treating patients outside of the hospital.

– Through the network and the collaborations that the new professors bring, we foresee an increased volume and quality of image analysis and eHealth related research and therefore faster development of solutions for improved and more effective healthcare, says Henrik Mindedal, Director of MedTech West.

The two new imaging professors will play an important role in the coming Image and Intervention Centre, BoIC, at Sahlgrenska University Hospital that will open in 2015. BoIC is an investment for the future and will be adapted in line with the development of the region’s health care services. Within the coming years, BoIC will accommodate functions and activities that form the basis for a fantastic space in which new innovations will be developed. Therefore, a research team led by the two professors will be strongly connected to this environment.

The imaging professorships are placed at MedTech West, in close proximity to BoIC. The aim is to utilize the unique environment, state-of-the-art equipment, and advanced expertise available there to develop, evaluate and test new image- and eHealth-related concepts in conjunction with clinical expertise and business. The vision is that the research team will be at the forefront of international research in these areas and deliver new smart solutions directly to the hospitals.

The professors

Professor Fredrik Kahl
Professor in imaging and image analysis at the Dept. of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology. Professor Kahl is an applied mathematician interested in optimization and modeling, especially for applications in computer vision, pattern recognition and medical imaging. Professor Kahl has worked most recently as a researcher at Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Lund, did his post-doc at the Australian National University, RSISE, Canberra, Australia and earned his PhD from Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Lund.

Professor Rolf A. Heckemann, University of Gothenburg
Researcher and Professor of Medical Imaging and Image Analysis at MedTech West and the the University of Gothenburg. Professor Heckemann’s mission is to develop new ways of using brain imaging to improve our understanding of dementia and other neurological diseases. His research interests include finding novel ways of extracting information from brain images using anatomical segmentation and statistical analysis. Rolf Heckemann has worked as a researcher and medical practitioner in Germany (doctorate in medicine), Scotland, England (PhD in medical imaging), and most recently France.

Professor Paul Hockings
Associate Director in Drug Safety and Metabolism at AstraZeneca and Adj. Professor at the Department of Biomedical Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Queensland and Ph.D. from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. His main area of expertise is the use of medical imaging techniques to develop biomarkers to test novel pharmaceuticals in both the pre-clinical and clinical settings. Research covers a broad range of disease areas including stroke, metabolic disease, atherosclerosis, cardiac function, colitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and drug safety. A theme has been the use of imaging technologies to reduce animal usage and refine animal experimentation within the pharmaceutical industry.

Professor Bengt-Arne Sjöqvist
Researcher and Professor in the Biomedical signals and systems research group at Chalmers. Professor Sjöqvist is Chalmers first Professor of Practice and his research deals with eHealth, and in particular using the combination of bio-medical engineering, telecommunications and IT to support healthcare needs. He has also a special interest in finding ways to increase co-operation between academia, healthcare providers and industry. His several years of experience from various leading positions within the medtech and eHealth industry give him the toolset necessary to make this goal a reality. Professor Sjöqvist focus on applications within disease management and prehospital emergency care and is involved in various eHealth projects such as Care@Distance and METIS.