MARS Programme Seeks To Revolutionise X-ray Technology

A new project that seeks to revolutionize the way X-ray technology detects, diagnoses, and monitors various ailments has been awarded Gold Status for research excellence by the ministry of business, innovation and employment in New Zealand. The new project is a collaborative initiative involving the Universities of Otago, Canterbury and MARS Bioimaging Ltd known as the MARS Programme.

This project is aimed at developing a spectral molecular scanner which has the ability to provide 3D colour images of interior body parts. These include the bones, artificial joints and even soft tissues. The 3D images will make it possible for health professionals to acquire comprehensive information which is not currently available in the CT or MRI scans.

The project, if successful, will provide substantial financial benefits to the New Zealand, considering it has the potential of adding over $50 million to the economy per annum when the new technologies become are used regularly in health institutions. In this, the project team plan to have MARS Bioimaging Limited engage in marketing campaigns for the MARS scanners, which have been developed by Canterbury University. Proof of concept trials have also been successfully undertaken at the Otago University, Christchurch. The initial target market for the products comprises researchers from various institutions.

The project has received tremendous support from various quarters such as the MedTech Centre of Research Excellence and GE Healthcare. For instance, the latter has provided a top of the line CT scanner to the team so as to accelerate the research project. Future applications of the technology could include industries such as forestry, mining, border security and agriculture.

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