This collaboration wants to give heart patients a new lease on life

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What if doctors could detect pathological changes in a patient’s heart tissue before the heart function is compromised?

By U2B Staff 

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What if with new advancements to cardiovascular technology, doctors are able to detect pathological changes in a patient’s heart tissue before the heart function is compromised?

Think of the lives it could save, not to mention the money.

That’s exactly what Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and United Imaging hope to accomplish in their multi-year strategic research partnership.


Working in multiple phases over four to five years, researchers will be leveraging United Imaging’s uMR 570 system to advance research in cardiovascular MR, with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

This ability to detect a heart problem before it becomes irreversible will doctors a chance to intervene before patient health is severely affected. For patients, this breakthrough would effectively give them a new lease on life.

“For example, some chemotherapy drugs can cause heart damage, but such problems typically aren’t detected until patients develop symptoms,” said cardiologist Gregory M. Lanza, Professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, and biology and biomedical sciences at Washington University School of Medicine.

He said through the partnership, researchers hope to learn whether non-invasive cardiac MR would be able to predict the likelihood of a problem occurring, by identifying changes in heart tissue.

“Such a technology would provide highly detailed information about the heart to physicians and opportunities to modify treatment to improve health outcomes, which is the ultimate goal,” he said.

Adding on, Jie Zheng, Associate Professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Washington University School of Medicine, said:

“With the enhancement of artificial intelligence, our aim is to apply fast cardiovascular MR imaging to patients with potentially severe heart problems, enabling a higher degree of precision that could influence treatment options.”


He added that use of United Imaging’s cardiovascular technology, as well as the firm’s commitment to R&D, are critical to the success of the collaboration.

Likewise, United Imaging said it is with the research might of Washington University’s researchers can such collaborations turn out useful innovations with the potential to save human lives.

“Our agreement with Washington University’s medical school will allow us to further revolutionise cardiovascular technology,” said Lingzhi Lance Hu, PhD, Director of Global Scientific Collaboration, United Imaging.

“We can’t emphasise enough the importance of academic collaborators like Washington University who share our vision of focusing research efforts on clinical topics relevant to a broad population.”

Dr. Steve Tan, United Imaging’s Co-CEO, Imaging Diagnostic & Treatment Group, agreed, saying:

“We believe that our combined efforts with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will have a significant impact on the use of MR in cardiac research.”

Founded in 2011, the Shanghai-headquartered United Imaging develops and produces a full portfolio of advanced medical imaging and radiotherapy equipment and offers medical IT and intelligent solutions. The firm currently has subsidiaries and R&D centers across China, US, and other parts of the world.