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MedTechLabs will develop groundbreaking treatment and diagnosis through AI and bioelectronic medicin

Professor Kevin Smith, researcher at KTH and SciLifeLab, will (together with Associate Professor and clinician Johan Hartman, researcher at KI) lead the first programme.


Published Jan 29, 2020

Two new research programmes focusing on AI and bioelectronic medicine, for application in the areas of breast cancer and inflammatory disease, respectively, have been adopted at MedTechLabs. The research is expected to start in January 2020.

In June 2019, MedTechLabs opened a call for a second research area within the centre. The newly appointed Centre Director Peta Sjölander says that both programmes live up to MedTechLab's focus:

“Research at the centre should be able to achieve breakthroughs in the respective areas and provide results that can benefit healthcare already within five years. The programmes are therefore based on established research.”

AI and machine learning

The first new programme uses AI and machine learning to radically increase the accuracy of breast cancer imaging diagnostics. Associate Professor and clinician Johan Hartman, researcher at KI, and Associate Professor Kevin Smith, researcher at KTH and SciLifeLab, will lead this programme, which also involves other researchers from KI and KTH. The programme will use decoded data from all patients diagnosed with breast cancer through mammography in the Stockholm region during the period 2005 and 2019.

“This important research programme is possible only through Sweden's unique access to comprehensive and quality-assured patient data”, says Peta Sjölander.

Every year, approximately 1 500 women die from breast cancer in Sweden, and more and more cases are being detected. At the same time, relative mortality from the disease has decreased. Peta Sjölander believes that the research programme will contribute to a faster and better diagnosis and thus the opportunity to cure more patients and detect cancer earlier throughout the course of the disease.

Bioelectronic medicine

The second new programme aims for the monitoring and stimulation of the vagus nerve with short electrical pulses, known as bioelectronic medicine, in order to treat inflammatory conditions. The programme is run by Associate Professor Peder Olofsson, researcher at KI and Henrik Hult, Professor at KTH, together with additional researchers from their universities. The programme will also employ doctoral students and researchers at the beginning of their careers.

“To our knowledge, the programme is the first in Europe to implement bioelectronic medicine clinically for the treatment of inflammatory disease in a patient-friendly environment," says Peta Sjölander.

Jointly led by KTH and KI

All research programmes at MedTechLabs are jointly led by a researcher from KTH and one from KI. The operations are mainly conducted in the new research building at the Karolinska University Hospital, BioClinicum in Solna, which has access to advanced medical emergency care, a prerequisite when applying techniques and treatment to patients.

Both programmes are expected to start in January 2020.

MedTechLabs is an interdisciplinary centre for patient-centered research that will contribute to the development of medical technology that is important for the challenges of healthcare. The centre is run by KTH, Karolinska Institutet and the Stockholm Region.

Pressrelease 2019-12-19

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For more information, please contact:

Peta Sjölander, , 070-771 48 80