Summary of ITEA2 project BENEFIT

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As a market, healthcare including health & wellness represents up to 25% of the EU economy (when measured in terms of employment, expenditure and added value), making it the largest industry of the economy. Healthcare costs are rising due to the ageing population. The number of people older than 60 years will triple within a generation time. Elderly people more often have combinations of chronic or acute diseases. Thus an increasing number of patients will have to be diagnosed and treated in the hospital which requires up to date diagnostic tools and interventions. On top of that local and global shortages of trained healthcare staffing are predicted. Advanced imaging tools already have shown to improve diagnosis and in the same way minimally invasive interventional treatments have shown to reduce costs compared to traditional open surgery. Currently many new treatment devices, imaging tools and treatment regimes for minimally invasive interventional treatments are being developed. This increase in diagnostic and treatment options complicates the choice for an optimal personalised treatment by the physicians in terms of:

Effectiveness: best treatment result for the patient with minimal long term side effects
Efficiency: minimal overall costs for healthcare.

Clinical trials have shown that in specific medical procedures objective quantified criteria and decision support systems reduce costs and improve treatment results. For instance objective measurement of pressure drop along a partial obstruction in a cardiac blood vessel instead of visual assessment resulted in reduced use of expensive implant devices and 30 % reduced risk of death, myocardial infarction and need for a repeated intervention.

BENEFIT will develop a structural approach for multiple types of interventions, based on the following major innovative technological results:

  • An IT framework that will enable information gathering and analysis and decision support before and during minimally invasive interventions and will enable long term evidence based medicine
  • New imaging procedures and quantification and analysis methods to collect this information before, during and at the end of an interventional treatment Patient models that can be personalised based on this information
  • Workflow models and Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) to give advice on optimal follow up
    Develop tools and methods to assist the physician in performing complicated procedures

Clinical benefits will be:

  • Improved decision making on patient treatment, which will no longer depend on subjective image assessment and clinical experience of the physician alone. For example BENEFIT will enable objective assessment on. which patients need additional treatment, what kind of treatment and for which patients is it better to wait or devise a ‘non-interventional’ approach like drugs or lifestyle changes;
  • Improved patient outcome and lower costs from medical interventions directly resulting from the new image acquisition and analysis methods developed in this project;
  • Continuous measurement and improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of targeted medical procedures, since the models and the CDSS will be continuously enhanced based on new patient data, treatment outcomes and quality assessment parameters.

BENEFIT builds upon previous projects in the Healthcare domain which have provided additional clinical information from medical imaging as well as an architecture to integrate information sources, visualization means and device actuators during interventions. These building blocks have reached a degree of maturity that allows us to make a next step to quantify data from multiple sources and apply them in models and workflow support, before, during and at the end of an intervention. BENEFIT perfectly aligns with the Healthcare challenge of the ITEA2 living roadmap and addresses many of the technological needs stated in this document.

BENEFIT brings together market leaders in medical imaging, minimally invasive treatment procedures and visualisation solutions, excellent software companies, top ranked research institutes and clinical end users. This combination of partners allows us to go beyond a single disease area and develop tooling that can be used for multiple diseases and for patients with combinations of diseases. BENEFIT will enable adequate selection, optimization and quantification of the effectiveness and efficiency of different treatment regimes.

Consortium

The following partners participate:

Barco N.V.
Belgium
Demcon
The Netherlands
Elekta
Sweden
Erasmus MC
The Netherlands
FEops
Belgium
Utrecht University
The Netherlands
Medis
The Netherlands
Philips Healthcare
The Netherlands
Quantib BV
The Netherlands