WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., NOTRE DAME, Ind. & WAUKESHA,
their shared legacy of innovative research and commitment to patient-centered
medical technology, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame and GE Healthcare announce a proprietary new CT scanning
reconstruction technology called Veo™ that may enable physicians to diagnose
patients with high-clarity images at previously unattainable low radiation dose
CT is an advanced form of spiral X-ray technology that
physicians use to help diagnosis disease in their patients – including cancer,
cardiac and neurological diseases, and other conditions – with the goal of
significantly improving treatment plans and patient health outcomes. Since it
was invented in the 1970s, CT scanning has positively impacted millions of
lives. Still, physicians and patients have traditionally had to balance the
tremendous benefits of CT with the patient’s exposure to the limited medical
radiation dose used during scanning.
Veo is helping change the equation by helping health-care
professionals provide accurate diagnoses with high-clarity images at
astonishingly low radiation dose levels.
“Veo technology is a game-changer, plain and
simple,” said Steve Gray, vice president and general manager of CT and
Advantage Workstation for GE Healthcare. “Traditionally in CT there has
been a need to balance image quality for diagnostic purposes with the lowest
achievable radiation dose. We are hearing from our customers that GE is
changing the rules of CT with Veo, delivering remarkably clear images at
unprecedented low dose levels.”
The world’s first Model-Based Iterative Reconstruction
technology, Veo is built on an advanced algorithm that was developed jointly by
researchers at Purdue, Notre Dame and GE Healthcare and is the subject of
numerous U.S. and international patents and patent applications. The three
organizations signed an exclusive license and commercialization agreement on
Monday (Nov. 28) allowing Veo and the underlying MBiR technology to be
commercialized by GE Healthcare.
“The development of this discovery is another excellent
example of how a collaboration between Purdue and another institution, in this
case Notre Dame, as well as an industry leader like GE Healthcare, has resulted
in a viable product that is being commercialized,” said Joseph B. Hornett,
senior vice president, treasurer and COO of the Purdue Research Foundation. “Last year, we signed 85
commercialization agreements to move Purdue discoveries to the public.”
“We’re pleased to have our engineering research
contribute to a viable new product, particularly in an area so critical to our
economy and our well-being as revolutionary medical diagnostics devices,”
said Robert Bernhard, vice president for research at Notre Dame. “We see
the Veo project as a great example of close collaboration of university and
Charles A. Bouman, Ph.D., the Michael J. and Katherine R.
Birck Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a professor of
biomedical engineering at Purdue
University, and Ken
Sauer, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical engineering at Notre Dame,
developed the technology over the past two decades in collaboration with
Jean-Baptiste Thibault, Jiang Hsieh and Zhou Yu. Thibault and Yu worked on the
technology as graduate assistants under Bouman and Sauer and both currently
work for GE Healthcare.
CT scanning takes thousands of views from
different angles to ‘see’ organs and then creates a 3-D image of the
person,” Bouman said. “Veo takes radiographic images digitally that
use less X-ray. A reduction in X-rays means the radiation dosage is reduced.
Then, our computer algorithm uses model-based reconstruction more effectively
so we can form a high-quality image with less radiation.
“Basically, Veo cleans up the noise or graininess and
creates a sharper image.”
After simultaneously completing their doctorates at Princeton University, Bouman and Sauer began
working on the technology as assistant professors at Purdue and Notre Dame.
“Our opportunity to work closely with our collaborators
at GE Healthcare was immensely important in getting these imaging ideas into
the scanners,” Sauer said. “The fact the Jean-Baptiste and Jiang committed
themselves to guiding this project and had direct access to other experts on
every facet of the machines really tightened the feedback loop on algorithmic
Funding for the research came in part from the National
Science Foundation and GE Healthcare.
“Given increasingly complex clinical demands and the
traditional trade-off between CT image clarity and patient exposure to medical
radiation, the efforts to develop and test Model-Based Infrared Reflectometry
(MBiR) were critical,” said Jiang Hsieh, CT chief scientist for GE
Healthcare. “These efforts saw results – the potential to lower noise,
increase resolution, improve low-contrast detectability and reduce artifacts
while maintaining image clarity – and today we’re able to offer Veo to physicians
around the world, opening the door to high CT image performance at yet unseen
low dose levels.”
In clinical practice, the use of Veo may reduce CT patient
dose depending on the clinical task, patient size, anatomical location and
clinical practice. A consultation with a radiologist and a physician should be
made to determine the appropriate dose to obtain diagnostic image quality for
the particular clinical task.
Posted by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT