Our students are already working on case studies to finance our wonderful study tour. In this section, you may find a description of some of these case studies. Due to privacy reasons, not all case studies are described down below. 

Multi-Modality Medical Imaging (University of Twente)

One of the research groups of the University of Twente, Multi-Modality Medical Imaging (M3i), aims to improve functional imaging of the circulatory system, leading to better and more personalized patient treatment. They are developing and testing the next-generation medical imaging techniques to visualize local blood flow patterns and deformation of the circulatory system within a single heartbeat. Both blood flow and blood vessel movement are important parameters because they affect disease progression and treatment durability.

To visualize and explain the activities of the research group, M3i collaborated with one of our students to make a demo. The complex motion of blood flow within our vessels is recreated by injecting small gas-filled bubbles into running water. An ultrasound probe has been used to show this process, which can be displayed live on a monitor.  Furthermore, the pulsatile motion of the vessels has been recreated and will be displayed in the demo. 

 
Overview of the demo. On the left displaying our vessel movement analysis techniques. On the right displaying our blood flow imaging techniques.

Biomedical Signals and Systems (University of Twente)

Another research group of the University of Twente, Biomedical Signals and Systems (BSS), focuses on finding solutions for medical challenges via signal and system analysis. One of their researchers is currently working on the late effects of breast cancer. Research has shown that around 90% of breast cancer patients will experience late effects, such as persistent pain, cardiac events, severe symptoms of depression and extreme fatigue, which all have a highly negative impact on the quality of life. Unfortunately, many patients are not adequately treated or supported to deal with these effects and there are high unmet patient needs with regard to information, detection and management of the symptoms. 

In the collaboration between BSS and the Study Tour, one of our students conducted a literature research. The aim was to create an overview of the late effects after breast cancer and their symptoms and to find suitable monitoring techniques to find these in an early phase. 

 

Hospital Gronau

The Hospital Gronau, Prostate Center Northwest, located in Gronau, Germany, is a leading center for robot-assisted radical prostatectomy of prostate cancer patients. The Prostate Center Northwest was founded in 2004 and it was certified in 2010.

After discharge, patient report outcomes are captured with either digital survey or paper questionnaires. These are sent to each patient in regular intervals for purpose of quality control, continuous optimization and scientific research.  These outcomes cover a large variety of domains, such as erectile function recovery, urinary continence recovery, tumour control and quality of life. Since a substantial proportion of patients still prefer paper questionnaires, and manual data extraction is time- and labor-intensive and error-prone, an advanced Intelligent and Optical Character Recognition is a potential solution to increase efficacy and quality to capture the patient reported outcomes. Thus the goal of the case study is to integrate such ICR/OCR solution for (semi-)automization and optimize the paper-based survey-pipeline, while still making it accessible for every patient. A secondary goal is to integrate validated Dutch and English translations of the questionnaires, to further facilitate access and understanding of an increasing number of international patients, including Dutch patients.