June 20, 2001
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Stephenson
Researchers from Johns Hopkins and Toshiba Corporation Medical Systems Company have formed a joint research program at Hopkins to develop new, minimally invasive procedures using combinations of CT scans and fluoroscopy.
Under the arrangement, Toshiba engineers and scientists will form a Hopkins-based team led by Kieran Murphy, M.D., associate professor of radiology at Hopkins, to expedite the application of technological advances to the patient care. "We envision a seamless integration between research and development and clinical utilization," says Murphy.
Among the team’s first projects is enhancement of fluoroscopic computerized tomography (CT), using Toshiba’s Aquilion™ CT unit. CT fluoroscopic imaging uses conventional CT scanning coupled with fluoroscopy. Another initiative will be establishing a center for image-guided therapy training that can be networked with Toshiba clinical research sites nationally and internationally to create centers for simultaneous, multicenter educational training.
Other priorities include developing a new system for imaging the heart and blood vessels and brain as well as technologies for processing, storing and viewing archived medical images.
"All of these technologies will be designed to improve the quality of clinical information physicians need to accurately diagnose and treat their patients with less risky and less damaging procedures," says Elias Zerhouni, M.D., chairman and Martin Donner Professor of the Department of Radiology.
Murphy says a new Toshiba scanner Hopkins will receive as part of the agreement will provide real-time images at 12 frames, or pictures, a second compared to the three or four per second produced by a conventional CT scanner. "This means the clinician can guide needles, catheters and other instruments with much greater precision," he says. "This, in turn, means a much shorter procedure time with less stress on the patient."
Under the arrangement, Toshiba will provide most of the necessary equipment and software and Hopkins will have rights to publish all research findings resulting from the collaborative effort.