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University of Sydney opens next-generation medical imaging facility to advance future of healthcare

University of Sydney opens next-generation medical imaging facility to advance future of healthcare

Recently, the
University of Sydney announced the launch of Sydney Imaging – a next-generation medical imaging facility’s
core research facility that is dedicated to research and training.

Sydney Imaging will assist researchers to tackle frontier
questions in healthcare and medical research. The facility provides
cutting-edge preclinical and clinical
imaging technologies
 with technical expertise.

Imaging technology allows researchers to study complex
biological systems and disease processes non-invasively, and gain insights into
scientific and medical problems not available by other means. The latest
medical imaging technology in Sydney Imaging is available to students,
researchers and collaborators and is designed to lead discoveries and education
in patient diagnosis and treatment.

Speaking at the launch of Sydney Imaging, NSW Secretary of
Health Elizabeth Koff said Sydney Imaging was an investment in future health.

“Sydney Imaging is one of Australia’s most sophisticated
biomedical imaging facilities reserved for research and education – a rarity in
the world. It is a boon for the NSW and Australian health research community,
and for our broader society which will ultimately benefit from discoveries made
there,” said Secretary Koff.

Sydney Imaging’s flagship Hybrid
Theatre
 at the Charles
Perkins Centre
combines a range of
biomedical imaging technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and
pioneering surgical practice and training. Image-guided and robotic surgery are
used to develop and perfect the complex surgical procedures of tomorrow,
resulting in less invasive techniques and better outcomes.

Deputy Director of the Hybrid Theatre, Professor
Paul Bannon
explained the term “hybrid” represented a new way of performing
surgeries – a hybrid of traditional open surgeries and the more minimally
invasive procedures the theatre supported.

“The Hybrid Theatre also represents a hybrid between the
massive technological and academic strengths of the University, and the drive
for innovative and effective treatments from the hospitals we partner with,” Professor
Bannon added. 

Credit: University of Sydney

The Hybrid Theatre showcases Australia’s first ARTIS
pheno C-Arm
, one of the most advanced robotic imaging systems currently
available. Manufactured by Siemens Healthineers, it delivers high
quality fluoroscopic and
CT-like 3D images quickly using less radiation – and accommodates any patient
regardless of their size, condition or position.

The theatre also features in-room cameras and video conferencing
to record and stream live procedures for research and teaching purposes.

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr
Michael Spence said the facility forms part of the University’s Core Research Facilities program
to invest in world-class research infrastructure that attracts the best and
brightest.

Dr Spence said the Hybrid Theatre, representing the future
of technologically-advanced operating theatres, will enable the high-level
training and experience Australia’s next generation of researchers and
healthcare workers will need to carry their work forward.

Academic Director of Core Research Facilities Professor
Simon Ringer believed that plans to further enhance Sydney Imaging’s
capabilities will result in significant research breakthroughs.

“One of the largest surgical theatres in the country, the
Hybrid Theatre includes an adjacent space that will soon house a clinical MRI
scanner,” he said.

“Researchers will be able to easily combine magnetic
resonance imaging with X-ray and ultrasound systems, greatly increasing the
range of procedures they can undertake. We are also exploring how surgical
robotics might interact this technology, and are working with experts at the
University’s Australian Centre for
Field Robotics
 to develop new applications in surgery and medicine.”

Sydney
Imaging will act as a hub for the University’s faculties and affiliated
research institutes, and is intended to bolster the University’s work with
local health partners including Sydney
Local Health District
.

Executive Director of Sydney Health Partners Professor Garry Jennings said patients will be the
ultimate beneficiary of the strategic location and collaboration.

“This initiative offers a
valuable opportunity for the local health community to strengthen connections
with existing collaborators and foster new partnerships – in order to advance
scientific and medical discoveries and ensure our healthcare system remains fit
for future purpose,” he said.

scientific
symposium
 will follow the official launch of Sydney Imaging, featuring
a series of research lectures by local and international leaders from the
clinical, preclinical and surgical research imaging communities.