During the Mimics Innovation Conference, Dr. Jan De Backer gave an illuminating presentation about diagnosing lung diseases with Functional Respiratory Imaging, or FRI. It’s is a proprietary technology that combines high-resolution CT scans with computer-based flow simulations.
He explained that currently, doctors assess lung function by asking patients to forcefully exhale into a tube. The amount of air that can be exhaled is the main parameter that is used to determine how healthy or ill a patient is if they suffer from lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (smoker’s lungs), cystic fibrosis etc. With this conventional test however, it is very difficult to know exactly where the exhaled air comes from inside the lungs, where the disease is present in the lungs and, if the patient uses an inhaler, whether the drugs reach the right areas.
FRI provides a detailed look inside the lungs and can very accurately determine which areas in the lungs are more affected by the disease and whether the inhaled drug particles reach the right areas. These enhanced capabilities result in smaller, shorter and hence cheaper clinical trials so better drugs can come to market faster. In addition, FRI allows the doctor to select the optimal treatment for individual patients in clinical practice, thereby avoiding the costly trial-and-error approach. FRI is increasingly used in clinical trials and practices worldwide and facilitates the transition to personalized medicine.
About the presenter:
Dr. Jan De Backer graduated from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands as an Aerospace Engineer. He attained an MSc Degree in Aerodynamics and specialized in Applied Biomedical Computational Fluid Dynamics, leading to a PhD from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He is an alumnus of the MBA programs at London Business School, London and Columbia Business School, New York. Dr. De Backer has received several awards for his innovative research in the field of airway modeling in respiratory and sleep medicine. His work has also been published in international journals. Dr. De Backer founded FLUIDDA in 2005 and he holds the position as CEO since 2007.
FLUIDDA is a world leader in the field of Functional Respiratory Imaging (FRI) research and development. The company’s proprietary FRI technology offers pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers a unique entry point into personalized medicine for patients suffering from respiratory diseases and sleep-related breathing disorders.