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Medical Technology Makers
July 29, 2011   
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The Institute of Medical Technology and Equipment in Zabrze combines scientific research with the production of specialist medical equipment.

The institute is a leading research and development center in Poland among those dealing with medical technology and innovation. The institute focuses on many different areas of medical technology, including the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, intensive care, resuscitation, rehabilitation, biomedical engineering, telemedicine, the application of computer technology in medicine, safe use of medical equipment and medical equipment testing, approval and certification. The institute conducts its research in seven specialized facilities and two laboratories: the LAB-ITAM accredited research lab and the EMC-ITAM electromagnetic compatibility lab.

The institute has a total of 121 employees, 35 percent of them researchers. It leads the way in research on new areas of medical technology, developing non-invasive electrostimulation methods to diagnose and treat heart diseases, systems for computer analysis of cardiotocographic (CTG) signals and systems to oversee and provide care for patients undergoing electrotherapy of the heart.

Equipment developed at the institute has won acclaim at many international invention fairs, including the Brussels Innova World Invention, Research and New Technology Fair. In 2007, the institute’s “Spectrometric system for early cancer detection and diagnosis” won the top prize at this exhibition, and in 2010 the institute followed up with another Grand Prix for its “Cardi Accel ANP-701 device for hemodynamic support by stimulation during surgery.”

Other inventions developed at the institute that had won medals at the Brussels fair include the “Peleton Plus cardiological rehabilitation system” and the “Diagnostim MDD-501 non-invasive multifunction diagnostic and therapeutic device.”

The institute is home to the Stimcard Center for Excellence in Cardiostimulation Technology Development, which aims to foster the development of non-invasive transesophageal/transcutaneous cardiostimulation technology as well as technology for invasive intravenous cardiostimulation. The center also provides comprehensive care to patients who have received electrocardiotherapy involving an implantable pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator or who have undergone an ablation procedure. The main objectives of the new non-invasive cardiostimulation methods are to improve patients’ safety and comfort and reduce the costs of the medical procedures involved.
Ewa Dereń



Adam Gacek, director of the Institute of Medical Technology and Equipment:

The institute’s work can be roughly divided into four main areas: perinatal care of mothers and infants; mobility rehabilitation systems; electrocardiography-related systems; and telemonitoring systems, including telenursing and telemedicine. We operate in niche markets, as we design and offer highly specialized and innovative devices and medical systems. One of them is the Cardi Accel ANP-701, which won us the prize at the Brussels fair recently. It is an inventive device for stimulating and supporting hemodynamics during non-cardiological surgery. The device has entered certification and once that process is completed, the Cardi Accel will hit the market. It will most likely be put into clinical use next year.

Biomedical engineering is a field where the results depend on how closely engineers work with the medical community. The two groups of people frequently inspire each other and come up with joint ideas. Sometimes we have an engineering concept and ask physicians how it could be applied in medicine, and on other occasions physicians realize a solution is needed to a problem and come to ask engineers for help.

We have been working closely with the Silesian University of Medicine, the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze, and the Zbigniew Religa Foundation for Heart Surgery Development. Together with the Silesian University of Technology, the Institute of Medical Technology and Equipment serves as the main research and technology center for students from the newly established Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology.

One of our most noteworthy partners outside the Silesia region is the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. We also have partners abroad. These include medical centers in Lithuania, Italy and Slovakia as well as the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Our institute is undergoing expansion to help us move most of our research facilities and biomedical engineering labs to a new building. This will provide us with a better environment to perform our statutory tasks, and we also will be able to hire new people. The project will rearrange our work with partners in industry, creating something along the lines of a science and technology park for biomedical equipment. What I mean is general integration of manufacturers of products for the medical sector. These companies have so far worked in separation and we want them to gain access to our research potential and be able to take advantage of the research opportunities it presents.

We are keen to establish close relations with manufacturers of medical products, a sector that was once very well developed in Poland but has lost some of its momentum today. Our goal is for our innovative research to become the basis for new medical technology that will be marketed around the world.
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