Quibim has joined a temporary business association (TBA) with molecular imaging companies to develop a total-body positron emission tomography (PET) / computed tomography (CT) scanner for simultaneous whole-body imaging.

The collaboration is part of the $8.9m (€7.5m) High Sensitivity Molecular Imaging project, IMAS, and is supported by GE Healthcare with its diagnostic imaging equipment expertise.

The Government of Valencia’s Regional Minister of Health sub-contracted the PHOENIX TBA between Quibim, Full Body Insight and Oncovision under a public procurement of innovation project.

Quibim is an artificial intelligence (AI) and medical image processing company, while Full Body Insight is a scintillator technology maker and Oncovision is a molecular imaging equipment maker.

Furthermore, the project is co-funded through the Ministry of Science and Innovation by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Quibim CEO and co-founder Angel Alberich-Bayarri said: “We will create automatic pipelines to obtain a virtual in vivo dissection of key organs using AI and characterise radiotracer and radiomics features.

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“The output of this innovative collaboration will help clinicians reading a PET exam decide on which regions they must focus on to support patient diagnosis and prognosis evaluations.”

PET imaging aids in visualising extremely low amounts of radioactive compounds given to patients and offers functional information of processes happening within the body.

The project intends to create new applications of PET in biomedical research and boost the sensitivity of PET devices by growing the axial coverage of the system.

Increased sensitivity could lower the radiation dose or acquisition time without affecting image quality.

This will benefit paediatric patients and people who require several diagnostic tests to assess treatment efficiency.

Furthermore, the axial coverage of the system will aid in the simultaneous acquisition of the major organs to allow new medical applications.

Apart from developing the PET system which is expected to be ready in 2023, the initiative will work on developing post-processing tools to improve PET/CT image analysis.