Significant impact on business and society
In the clinical use case of cardiac valves, the LUMC evaluated novel 4D flow Magnetic Resonance (MR)
protocols and image analysis methods for patient risk assessment. This research has resulted in various
scientific papers, increased knowledge on the optimal usage of non-invasive MR imaging techniques and
contributed to the commercial release of a new 4D Flow MRI module for the Medis Suite MR image
The BENEFIT project also had a significant impact on FEops in terms of technology, funding and staffing.
Belgian SME received CE approval for its TAVIguide product which helps to improve placement of
heart valves by pre-operative imaging and simulation. It also recently secured an investment injection
m to help drive commercial adoption of the FEops HEARTguideTM in the fast-growing market for
valve therapies. FEops has almost quadrupled its number of staff from 4 to 15 people.
For brain vessels, Philips has introduced a new commercial tool to the market for the treatment of
aneurysms, based on the research efforts performed within the scope of the BENEFIT programme. An
a weak spot in the wall of a blood vessel which gets dilated due to the blood pressure and is at risk of
rupturing. It is the first interventional tool to visualise and quantify flow patterns in a vessel and
aneurysm. It predicts the chance of long-term treatment success while the patient is still on the table
the catheter is in place. This means that the surgeon can take immediate additional actions in the event
that the chance of success is too low, so that the risk for the patient is reduced as well as the need
repeated treatment. At the end of 2019 more than 250 units had been sold.
Also Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, contributed to stroke treatment by introducing
tools and charts to increase the information from conventional CT and X-ray images. These tools and
knowledge will be used in a subsequent large Dutch project, called CONTRAST (COllaboration for New
TReatments of Acute STroke), where Erasmus MC will work with partners on imaging biomarkers for stroke
For brain tumour radiotherapy, Elekta received CE and FDA approval for its Leksell Gamma Knife ICON
with Cone beam CT (CBCT) for optimal patient positioning, in part due to BENEFIT. The CBCT positioning
system allows frame and frameless workflow in radiotherapy such that patients do not need to carry the
stereotactic frame for imaging before treatment planning. Thus it allows more flexibility and efficiency
treatment planning for both clinicians and patients. 107 Systems have been installed and clinically in
as of September 2019. There is also potential in upgrading the existing systems, i.e. over 200
The automatic dose planning system that has also been developed and is currently being evaluated by
experts, with a partial contribution from BENEFIT, reduces planning time for test cases significantly by
estimated factor of 2 or more, while the inverse planner maintains performance.
In this same use case, Linköping University (LiU) in Sweden has published in BENEFIT a total of 10
papers, 3 conference papers and 2 book chapters, including on a new framework for MR diffusion imaging
brain tumours. For functional MRI, the most important publication, published in PNAS (Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences) in 2016, showed severe problems with statistical methods used to analyse
data. The paper has been covered by Science, The Economist, The New York Times, has been downloaded over
200,000 times and received over 1800 citations. LiU has continued the work in BENEFIT in collaboration
Harvard Medical School (USA) and Lund University (Sweden), for example through an SSF (Swedish
strategic research) funded project about diffusion MRI.
The Dutch SME Quantib gained CE and FDA approval for its brain tumour analysis software and recently
€4.5 m in fresh funding to support the company in its international expansion ambitions. Improvements
developed within this project will continue to flow into future versions of the Quantib™ Brain and
ND products. Furthermore, Quantib set up a framework to develop and evaluate deep-learning methods to
quickly create prototypes and assess the clinical relevance. Prototypes include automated hip joint
degeneration assessment based on X-rays to decrease hip joint replacements, and estimation of body fat
percentage based on MRI e.g. to obtain better dose estimation for chemotherapy treatment. The prototypes
currently being evaluated in a clinical setting. From the start of BENEFIT until the present, Quantib
from 6 employees to nearly 30, developed 4 products including certification, has installations in over
countries and initiated partnerships with 3 top medical university centres in the Netherlands.