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Diagnostic imaging

Agfa supports Alzheimer’s research centre

QUEBEC CITY – Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of diagnostic imaging and healthcare IT solutions, announced that it has launched a new initiative to help improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, in partnership with the Canadian Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, the Centre de recherche Université Laval Robert-Giffard and the Société de valorisation des applications de la recherche (SOVAR).

Agfa HealthCare will contribute to the development of a prototype IT solution under the Agfa HealthCare Institute – a new initiative leveraging collaborative partnerships to help facilitate innovation in the healthcare technology space.

The Alzheimer’s project will focus on the development of a prototype that will combine a patient’s clinical information with the image features from the patient’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The results will provide physicians with all of the information they need to make a faster and more accurate diagnosis of the disease.

Not only will the prototype help support the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, but it will also help physicians predict its progression and ultimately improve treatment outcomes for patients. This project, which will be under way over the next two years, is the first of its kind in Canada and the ultimate goal is to commercialize the technology developed through the research in healthcare institutions across the country.

“Agfa HealthCare’s support is extremely important to achieving our goal of developing a functional prototype to help with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Simon Duchesne (pictured), Principal Investigator of this project at the Centre de recherche Université Laval Robert-Giffard (CRULRG).

“Through this joint project, we are developing innovative technology that will help improve the delivery of chronic care in Canada. Research in the healthcare field represents an important niche at Université Laval,” said Edwin Bourget, Vice-President for Research and Innovation, Université Laval. “Most of the research centres are implemented in hospitals affiliated with Université Laval, among which, the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec plays a major and determining role for mental health treatment, including Alzheimer’s disease, which is affecting so many Canadians today.”

For Agfa HealthCare, this Alzheimer’s project is about connecting the right people with the right information – and in order to do this, strategic partnerships are the key. The project falls under the Agfa HealthCare Institute, which was created to be a catalyst of innovations in Canada’s Health Informatics industry by facilitating close collaboration between government, the healthcare industry and universities across Canada to provide a fully integrated healthcare IT network across the continuum of care.

“Agfa HealthCare is excited to be a part of the Alzheimer’s initiative in partnership with the Université de Laval and the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. With Alzheimer’s disease affecting so many Canadians, it is so important for us to contribute to the development of new techniques to help in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease,” said Dave Wilson, Vice President, Agfa HealthCare in Canada. “Through our expertise in the healthcare IT space and our strategic partnerships with institutions such as the University of Laval, we are opening up doors to new ways of improving the delivery of patient care in Canada.”

About Agfa
The Agfa-Gevaert Group is one of the world’s leading imaging and information technology companies. Agfa develops, manufactures and markets analogue and digital systems for the printing industry (Agfa Graphics), the healthcare sector (Agfa HealthCare) and specific industrial applications (Agfa Materials). Agfa’s headquarters are in Mortsel, Belgium. The company is present in 40 countries and has agents in another 100 countries throughout the world. The Agfa-Gevaert Group achieved a turnover of 3,032 million Euro in 2008.

About Agfa HealthCare
Agfa HealthCare, a member of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, is a leading provider of IT-enabled clinical workflow and diagnostic image management solutions, and state-of-the-art systems for capturing and processing images in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Agfa HealthCare has over a century of healthcare experience related to diagnostic imaging and has been a pioneer on the healthcare IT market since the early 1990’s. The HealthCare division has sales offices and agents in over 100 markets worldwide. Sales for Agfa HealthCare in 2008 were 1,223 million Euro.

About Université Laval
Université Laval is part of the seven most important Canadian universities as regards research. With seventeen faculties and 400 programs, all cycles taken into account, it covers all spheres of knowledge. In the healthcare field, Université Laval counts more than 70 programs, more than 7 000 students in the three cycles and nearly 90 chairs and other research groups in support of the training in all cycles.

Posted March 25, 2010