Strong boost for medical-technological developments in the Eindhoven Brainport region

Five Eindhoven organizations are going one step further to speed up the development and application of medical innovations. The collaboration between TU Eindhoven, Philips, Máxima Medical Center, Catharina Hospital and the Kempenhaeghe Expertise Center in e/MTIC (Eindhoven MedTech Innovation Center) will lead to more technical innovation in healthcare. 

Within the consortium, some one hundred TU/e PhD students are working with a similar number of experts, academics and scientists from TU/e, hospitals and Philips. Over the past 15 years, the parties have already been working together bilaterally on projects for perinatal care (birth care), cardiovascular care (heart and blood vessels) and sleep disorders. The TU/e Impuls program (for the training of more PhD students) has also strengthened technical innovation in healthcare over the past five years. 

A number of activities will be given a place in the future Eindhoven Engine, a new research facility on the TU/e campus where the university, industry, companies and non-profit organizations will work together in joint research programs. Work on the Engine will start in January 2019.

The partners expect that the intensive collaboration between clinic, science and industry will significantly shorten the development time from research to results for the patient. It is not unusual for this to take 15 years or more. e/MTIC aims to shorten this period to five to eight years, for example by sharing research results and setting up a region-wide METC (Medical Ethics Review Committee) specifically for medical technology. This will lead to scientific and technological breakthroughs, making it quicker to identify and treat common diseases. 

Manager Kees van der Klauw of the e/MTIC ecosystem: “The ageing population and the rapidly growing costs of healthcare make the current system unsustainable for the future. Technological developments are a necessary part of the solution. Together we are working on innovations that benefit the patient.” 

Máxima Medical Center works daily on safe birth care
Máxima Medical Center works on safe birth care by, among other things, continuously developing innovations with Medsim. For example, simulation training is held with the world’s most lifelike birth simulator called Victoria. She has precise anatomical proportions and reacts realistically to the actions of the obstetrics team. Mother and child are also monitored with wireless electrode plasters that can make an ‘ECG’ of the womb and the unborn child. 

Kempenhaeghe Center of Expertise 
Approximately 10% of the Dutch population suffers from sleep disturbance. In the Center for Sleep Medicine in Kempenhaeghe, the impact of a severe sleep disorder on a person's life can be seen on a daily basis. Better diagnosis and treatment of such patients require more accessible, less burdensome and user-friendly ways of talking measurements at home and thereby enable us to identify the effect of treatment more accurately.  

Catharina Heart and Vascular Center
Together with the TU/e and Philips, techniques are being developed in which the course of disease processes and the outcome of treatments can be predicted more accurately.  For example, in the case of dilated arteries (aneurysm). Using advanced 3-D ultrasound diagnostics and mathematical models, the strength of the aneurysm wall of the individual patient can be determined. This makes it easier to predict how fast the aneurysm will grow and makes it possible to customize a treatment plan. The new technique can reduce the number of hospital checks and can better determine which aneurysm should or should not be operated on.