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From hospital technology to molecular diagnostics

VTT has been doing development work related to health & wellbeing and medical research since the early 1980s.

Research in the area of in hospital technology

Research in the area of hospital technology included the utilisation of computed tomography image slices in planning radiation treatment doses, and development work in the area concentrated on IT-based solutions for making the life of physically and mentally disabled people easier, such as voice-controlled wheelchair and a computer programme for the rehabilitation of aphasia patients.

Today, VTT’s health research focuses on medicinal development technologies, molecular diagnostics and health IT.  

 

Cancer research

One of VTT’s research subjects is cancer. A joint research group from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Turku has studied the spread of cancer cells and discovered a mechanism lung cancer cells use to spread to other parts of the body.

Unique cancer cell research methods developed at VTT are also applied in discovering new drugs for prostate cancer.

 

Cancer medicine is produced, for example, by isolating medicinal substances from plants. VTT is developing methods that could be used to produce compounds extracted from the Madagascar Periwinkle and used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer, small cell lung cancer and blood cancer more efficiently by biotechnical means.

VTT’s cancer research expertise has also made global waves, as VTT has entered into a cooperation agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma concerning the development of cancer medicines.  


Even VTT’s research reactor has been harnessed for cancer treatment. A total of 200 patients have received Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT), powered by VTT’s research reactor. Boneca Oy is the world’s only provider of this treatment, acting in tight cooperation with the Helsinki University Central Hospital’s Department of Oncology.

Fluental, the moderator material enabling the use of the extremely powerful neutron beam, has been developed and patented by VTT.  

 

Image processing in the field of medicine

Image processing also offers new possibilities in the field of medicine. A method developed by VTT enables the analysis of MRI images in just a few minutes when diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.

The reliable, automatic measurement and interpretation of the images is important, as it contributes to an early diagnosis of the disease, allowing treatment to begin at an early stage of the disease.  

 

Healthcare information system

The importance of information systems has continuously increased in the healthcare sector as well. In addition to data archiving, they can be used to offer new services in patient work. Development of the systems aim to, for example, increase e-business.

The goal of a project by VTT, City of Kouvola and Attendo MedOne Oy is to enable, for example, patients sending the results of self-made measurements electronically to a health centre and receiving treatment instructions over the Internet.  

 

New information and communication technology solutions

Health and wellbeing research does its part to answer the challenges made by global megatrends such as aging population. VTT is involved in the development of different information and communication technology solutions, and new services that help improve the wellbeing of the aging, offering them a chance to live independently at home for a longer time. VTT has developed measurement technology for the wellbeing watch by the Finnish Vivago, acting as both a traditional safety bracelet with a button alarm and a device measuring the person’s health, the resulting data being used in planning the customer’s treatment and services.  

   
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