Biomed Flanders to act as catalysing force for biomedical innovation in medical education and industry

Ghent 19 May 2000Some ten years ago, Biomed Flanders started out as a multi-disciplinary forum of paramedics, biophysicists, bioengineers, academics, industrial managers, researchers and scientists to catalyse innovations in biomedicine. Today, this platform has grown into a dynamic organisation, which is actively involved in setting up scientific symposia, co-ordinating educational projects to the benefit of students in bioengineering departments at the various Flemish University Colleges, supporting the implementation of new technologies in hospitals, and participating in conferences to promote groundbreaking engineering applications in medicine.

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Currently, the Biomed Flanders platform members are working hard to integrate speech technology applications, videoconferencing, and advanced medical imaging with diagnostic facilities like X-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy, electrocardiography, and cyclo-ergospirometry within clinical centres. Additionally, the forum deals with advanced topics on networking in medical imaging, as well as 3D ultrasound technologies for cardiovascular diseases and oncology.

The organisation is closely linked with a large number of Belgian societies and international institutions to organise the logistic and scientific support for international symposia in biomedicine. In this regard, Biomed Flanders collaborates with the Belgian Society for Biomedical Techniques and Health Care; the Dutch Universities and Biomedical Colleges; the Belgian Society for Medical & Biologic Engineering and Computing; the European Society for Engineering and Medicine; the International Foundation of Medical and Biological Engineering & Computing; the European Medical Association; the Technological Institute from the IFMBE, which is the Royal Society of Flemish Engineers; and the Research Boards of Advisors from the American Biographical Institute, as well as the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

In April 1998, Biomed Flanders was responsible for the organisation and the presidency of the European Symposium on Medical Imaging and Networking. This was followed the next year by Radioprotection anno 2000; Eurodoctor 2000 in co-operation with both the European Medical Association and the European Ligand Assay Association; and Health, the 9th European Congress on Biotechnology. This year, the forum participated in Euromedia 2000, of which the medical topics are covered in this month's VMW issue; and in Health Care 2000, a professional trade show with seminars addressed to hospital staff and care takers. Biomed Flanders will also be involved in the organisation of the 5th World Congress on the Internet in Medicine, known as Mednet 2000, which will take place next November in Brussels.

Another very important aspect of the Biomed Flanders' activities constitutes its educational role. The platform is organising and realising doctoral theses, student dissertations, professional stages and company visits on the subject of biotechnology; European and international legislation for (bio)technology and ethical issues in biomedicine; and medical imaging topics such as PACS, ultrasound, radiology, endoscopy, nuclear medicine, image processing and fusion, robotics, data-processing, diagnostic equipment, and photo-CD links.

In this way, Biomed Flanders is trying to act as a co-ordinating body towards all the Flemish educational institutions that integrate biomedical engineering techniques and medical nuclear technology into their curricula. In November 2000, Biomed Flanders will organise in this respect the joint presentation of the qualitatively most valuable dissertation research, selected by biomedical experts within the Netherlands-speaking academic institutions in the area of biomedical engineering techniques and medical physics. More details on this event are available in the VMW calendar section. For more information on the Biomed Flanders platform, you can contact Dr. ir. Luc Lambrecht, who is president of Biomed Flanders.


Leslie Versweyveld

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