ECOTECH-COMPLEX, a consortium of five leading academic institutions in South East Poland (Medical University of Lublin, Institute of Agrophysics Polish Academy of Sciences in Lublin, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow University of Technology, led by Maria Curie Skłodowska University) and GE Healthcare are working to address the challenge of neurological research needs and today announced that they had signed a contract for delivery of an ultra-high field GE 7.0T MRI scanner for research. This is the first 7.0T MRI scanner in Poland. The scanner will be installed at the consortium’s new imaging centre at the ECOTECH-COMPLEX in Lublin, Poland, and will be used for scientific and medical research into diseases and disorders of the brain. The US$10 Million scanner, which is planned to be operational in 2015, may allow researchers from the consortium to study tissues and anatomical differences of the brain. At 7.0 Tesla, the ultra-powerful magnet is almost five times stronger that magnets found in the majority of MRI scanners today, and 140,000 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field. The scanner is planned to help researchers in Poland investigate some of the most challenging brain diseases and disorders ranging from cancer, stroke and Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s, autism, epilepsy and brain trauma.
Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by neurological disorders. More than 50 million people in the world suffer from epilepsy. It is estimated that there are globally 35.6 million people with dementia with 7.7 million new cases every year Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and may contribute to 6-70% of cases. The prevalence of migraine is more than 10% worldwide.*
‘We are delighted to announce that the very first 7T MR scanner in Eastern Europe is coming to campus of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. This innovative research technology will help us drive advances in our understanding of these most difficult diseases. It will also establish Lublin as a centre for advanced imaging research which we hope will lead to increased levels of collaboration with research institutions and entrepreneurs across Europe”, said Andrzej Stępniewski, Managing Director & Project Manager, ECOTECH-COMPLEX consortium.
Anna Kasprzak, General Manager, GE Healthcare Poland said, ‘We’re delighted that ECOTECH-COMPLEX has chosen GE Healthcare’s 7.0T scanner for its new research facility here in Lublin. This technology puts Poland at the forefront of brain imaging research and also means that the region will be part of the GE7.0T community, a group which includes some of the world’s leading hospitals, universities and research institutions in the US, Europe and Asia. GE Healthcare has a ten-year history of innovation in this field.’
The GE 7.0T MRI Scanner is for research use only and is not intended to be used for any medical purpose, such as the prevention, treatment or diagnosis of a disease or medical condition
Globally, there are about 45 human-sized ultra-high field (7.0T or higher) MR scanners and about 20 of those are in Europe.
About the consortium
ECOTECH-COMPLEX consortium as well as project of the same name have been created in response to a call for big investments in the infrastructure research within the Innovative Economy Operational Programme, Development of high research potential. The project aims at increasing the competitiveness of the science by consolidation and modernization of research infrastructure in south-east Poland. The consortium now consists of five research institutions located in the respective region.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.
GE Healthcare’s Commitment to Neurology
Between 2010 and 2020, GE Healthcare plans to invest over $500 million in research into neurological disorders. The investment crosses all lines of GE Healthcare's global business and focuses on developing new neurology diagnostic solutions, educating consumers, and expanding research already in progress. Target areas include developing technologies for diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI). For decades, GE Healthcare has produced diagnostic scanners, imaging agents and software to help physicians see more clearly inside the brain and aid better patient management. In 2013, a $60 million investment with US National Football League was announced to develop new MR technology that may eventually be used in traumatic brain injury applications. This cooperation includes a $20 million Global Challenge to develop technologies around advancing diagnosis and prognosis of mild TBI.
About GE in Poland
Since launching its operations in Poland in 1992, GE has steadily grown into one of the country’s largest private companies, with more than 10,000 employees across a variety of businesses including healthcare, aviation and power controls. In Warsaw, 1,700 engineers staff our Engineering Design Center, which helps GE businesses in and outside Poland, such as GE Aviation, Energy and Oil & Gas. GE is also developing an IT hub for GE Healthcare in Krakow, which will employ close to 200 professionals.