The Dutch Medtech Industry: Pioneering Medical Imaging

The Dutch spirit of innovation and collaboration extends to all industries in the Netherlands and is particularly evident in the life sciences sector. More than 2,500 life sciences, medical technology and research organizations call the Netherlands home, in addition to 12 research universities and 82 hospitals. Thanks to public-private partnerships, more than $2 billion is invested in R&D annually in Holland, and the country ranks No. 4 in the world for medical technology patent applications.

Dutch collaboration is at the forefront of medical imaging, with some of the most exciting advancements coming from the Netherlands in the field of radiology. From November 27 – December 2 the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) will attend the RSNA Assembly and Annual Meeting in Chicago, the world’s largest gathering of radiology professionals around the world. The Netherlands Presents Pavilion will be at Booth 8319. For more information on NFIA at RSNA 2016, please click here and read below for a sneak peek.

Collaborative Solutions for Medtech Industry

University Medical Center Utrecht MedTech Industry

Source: Philips/UMC Utrecht

As one of the leading hospitals in Europe, University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) is at the center of collaboration between researchers and private companies in the Netherlands. At UMC Utrecht physicists, chemists, computer scientists and clinicians work together to develop commercial devices that meet important medical needs.

UMC Utrecht recently developed the world’s first MRI Linac, a first-of-its-kind imaging system that allows doctors to visualize vascular abnormality during radiotherapy. The MRI Linac integrates MRI with a linear accelerator in a machine that was previously thought to be impossible to build. As a global leader in healthcare technology, Dutch multinational Philips was also instrumental in the development of the MRI Linac.

Disease-Fighting Advancements

ScreenPoint Medical imaging MedTech industry
Source: ScreenPoint Medical

Private medical device companies in the Netherlands are creating products that not only improve medical imaging capabilities, but also make medical procedures safer, more precise and more comfortable for patients. MILabs, a spin-off from UMC Utrecht, is developing high-performance imaging systems for medical researchers around the world that provide diagnostic solutions for serious diseases like Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, ADHD, and more.

In 2015, the World Molecular Imaging Society awarded the Commercial Innovation of the Year Award to MILabs CEO Frederik Beekman for his work developing G-SPECT, the company’s unique clinical SPECT imaging platform. With high sensitivity and superior resolution compared to other SPECT systems, the G-SPECT offers more precise dynamic imaging capabilities than its competitors.

Dutch medical imaging companies are also making strides for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Amsterdam-based Sigmascreening, a spin-off from the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, has produced a highly reproducible digital breast cancer screening device that provides precision without unnecessary discomfort or pain. Nijmegen-based ScreenPoint Medical’s technology uses advanced machine learning for automated reading of mammograms and digital breast synthesis.

Enabling Research

Encapson ultrasound visibility

Source: Twente Technology Fund – Encapson

In other parts of Holland, innovation in imaging is just as strong. Rotterdam-based Quantib offers medical image quantification software, enabling radiologists, researchers and neurologists to extract imaging biomarkers for faster, more accurate and cost-effective diagnosis. Meanwhile, Enschede-based Encapson is the developer of Sono-Coat, an echogenic coating to improve the ultrasound visibility of medical devices used in minimally invasive surgery, providing ultimate ultrasound visibility.

In addition, Maastricht University Medical Centre+ and Scannexus offer a unique imaging valley ecosystem, ranging from mass spectroscopy, electron microscopy, CT, PET, PET-MR, and Ultra High-Field MRI 9.4T, 7T, 3T and 1.5T. This in an open access platform enabling academics and industry access to imaging and knowhow.

Supported by world-class research institutions and public-private partnerships, the Dutch medtech industry has fostered groundbreaking advancements in radiology and medical imaging. Learn more about the life sciences industry in the Netherlands here.


23 November 2016

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