The primary aim of Care4Me is to improve quality and productivity in healthcare using advanced medical imaging and decision-support methods combined with different knowledge sources, from early diagnosis to treatment and monitoring. The ultimate goal is to develop clinical prototypes of systems for cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases connected to hospital information systems in a new systems architecture. The project represents the first stage of a roadmap for futre medical imaging systems.

As the average survival age of the Western population rises, healthcare services are faced with a growing number of chronic diseases requiring long-term treatment. The resulting costs and shortage of personnel present real challenges. This trend is driving healthcare innovation to the limit. Clinical and technological solutions are therefore required to collate medical data and knowledge from different sources and domains in order to address the complete healthcare care cycle of all of those medical conditions.

More Treatment for the same cost.

Care4Me will develop advanced medical image analysis to provide clinicians with more functional and quantitative information, enabling earlier and more precise diagnosis. The result will be reduced cost per patient and the capacity to process more patients with the same number of medical staff. The key technical innovation in Care4Me lies in developing new medical imageprocessing software capable of extracting relevant image information from very large data sets and combining this with other types of medical data and knowledge. This will enable greater functional and quantitative analysis of medical images and will facilitate earlier diagnosis and personcentric treatment.

European and worldwide impact.

Global economic growth, dramatic changes in demographics and the development of new medical diagnostic and interventional technologies have drastically altered the prevalence of diseases affecting mankind. The emergence of molecular healthcare and clinical information technology (IT) solutions are expected to deliver enablers to solve the problems of a healthcare system under increasing strain. This ITEA 2 project fits within the longterm vision of a transition from structural to functional imaging in healthcare. This is expected to occur in three consecutive steps:

  • Advanced structural imaging;
  • Basic functional imaging; and
  • Advanced functional imaging.

Functional imaging not only detects the anatomy or structure of the body but also the condition at tissue level of organs within the body. To establish this transition, new detector electronics and new imaging software are required. This project is focusing on the first step in the innovative process – advanced structural imaging – and making a start on the second stage of innovation in terms of basic functional imaging.

Overall, Care4Me will deliver a new generation of medical imaging analysis software that provides more accurate, functional and quantitative information from the acquired images and combine this with clinical information and knowledge obtained from other sources. This will enable better patient care – particularly with regard to the ageing population – and it will also reduce healthcare costs. Through the approach, scale and composition of its consortium, this ITEA 2 project will strengthen the competitive position of Europe, especially for Care4Me consortium partners. This will in turn have an impact on worldwide marketing and employment opportunities.

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